Turning rejected food waste into delicious innovation

Food waste is a significant problem worldwide, and Canada is no exception. Each year, millions of tons of perfectly edible food end up in landfills, contributing to environmental degradation and wasted resources. However, there’s a growing movement in Canada that’s helping to tackle this issue head-on: upcycling food products. 

By rescuing rejected fruits and vegetables and turning them into premium products, this movement is not only reducing food waste but also bringing about a positive impact on the environment and fostering innovation in the food industry.

And instead of letting these perfectly good ingredients go to waste, innovative food entrepreneurs such as Loop Mission are stepping in to give them a second chance. They specialize in the creation of premium beverages from rescued fruits and vegetables, using these rejected ingredients to craft delicious and nutritious drinks like cold-pressed juices, smoothies, and even craft beers.

According to Loop founder Julie Poitras-Saulnier, “From the way that retailers and restaurants work, they have to speculate how much product they’ll need and it’s all dependent on consumers and what they choose to purchase. There’s a slim time slot between purchasing the food from a distributor, to having it be on the shelves until it’s not attractive enough for consumers to buy. So, Loop does its part by saving these unsold fruits and other products from the landfill and creating premium products.”

It’s a simple idea: upcycling food reduces the environmental impact of food production. By rescuing and upcycling these ingredients, they reduce the environmental impact of food waste, and mitigate the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere.

Not only does Julie bring her love of food to the table, she also brings her academic background with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability. 

“I would tell this to any company that is starting their journey to become more environmentally friendly. Do your homework. Do the research. There are a lot of resources out there. Check on your suppliers claims, ensure that they believe what you believe in.” 

When it comes to how consumers interact with Loop, Julie asserts that their initial worries about rejection were unfounded. If anything, consumers enthusiastically embraced their narrative of saving imperfect food and crafting delicious beverages from these rescued ingredients.

“They embraced our messaging and believed in what we were doing. They like the sustainability story and the environmental impact,” she says. “Nowadays, consumers ask questions. They want their companies to take a stand and make a commitment and help with environment problems.

Upcycling food in Canada is more than just a trend; it’s a crucial step towards a more sustainable and responsible food system. This movement is a testament to the power of innovation and creativity in addressing pressing environmental issues. As consumers, we can support this positive change by choosing upcycled products such as Loop Mission and spreading awareness about the importance of reducing food waste in our communities.