It’s time to tackle food waste.

Food waste isn’t a new issue, but it’s one that’s grown over the last year. A Dalhousie University study suggests that Canadians have been wasting 13.5% more food at home than they did before the pandemic. While that may largely be due to an increase in home cooking, it’s still an unsettling trend.

What to do, then?

Well, someone has thought of a solution. Coming August 2021, a new certification will launch that will note food that has been ‘upcycled’ – manufactured with food that otherwise would have been surplus. The Upcycled Food Association is working with companies around the world to not just reduce food waste, but help consumers make product choices that are better for the environment, and the food system.

The Upcycled Certification Program is the world’s first third-party certification program for upcycled food ingredients and products. The flagship of the Program is the on-package mark, which helps retailers feature upcycled products on shelf, and indicates to consumers which products are upcycled certified, providing the opportunity to prevent food waste with every purchase. Developed by the Upcycled Food Association, the mark highlights upcycled ingredients and products procured and produced with surplus food or food by-products from manufacturing, that use verifiable supply chains and have a positive impact on the environment.

Upcycled Food Association website

More information about the certification program, the designations, and how to become certified can be found here.

For home cooks looking to reduce food waste in their own kitchens, Ikea has launched The ScrapsBook, a downloadable e-book complete with recipes sourced from North American chefs that shows how to cook with “the little things we usually throw away. Or, as we like to call it, ‘scrapcooking.'” Cookbook and recipe afficionados may also like the James Beard Foundation’s Waste Not: How to Get the Most from Your Food, or the Zero Waste Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Cooking Without Waste.

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Image courtesy Pexels

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