Waste is the recent cause célèbre in the food world, and for good reason. The USDA estimates that 30-40% of the US food supply is wasted — roughly $110 billion dollars down the drain. Even more potent than the issue of money: All indicators are that we already produce enough food to feed the planet, if global waste was minimized.
To combat this problem, inventive brands are coming up with new ways to repurpose food waste (or sell perishables that might typically be wasted) — even Beyonce is getting in on the action. This innovation has helped to transform produce that was headed for the trash into exciting products that benefit the environment.
“Nobody has attempted to make vodka from strawberries before,” says Henry Tarmy, the co-founder of Ventura Spirits. “The reason they haven’t is because strawberries are too expensive to buy at retail for that use.”
By purchasing lower grade strawberries — still good, just not so pretty — Ventura Spirits has been able to distill a strawberry vodka that’s affordable and feels like an ecological win.
“We really get turned on by opportunities when there are fruits or other distilling materials that would otherwise go to waste,” says Anthony Caspari, another co-founder.
This sort of forward thinking and its acceptance by eager consumers, are the twin forces that will push the food industry forward — decreasing waste and delivering us exciting new consumer products in the process.