With what the world faced with the pandemic and scarcity of food, restaurants and people have become conscious about not wasting food and choosing what to eat.
Up cycled food doesn’t have a larger impact on the environment rather it impacts the environment on a holistic level. When people think about their waste they think about what are they buying and from where. They put more of an effort to make food at home and shop from places that are environment friendly.
“The trend of upcycled food will have a lasting impact on how we perceive “wastage” with respect to food,” shared Chef Tanvi Goswami, Executive Chef, SAGA, Gurgaon who believed that the integration of the concept will have a pivotal role on global sustainability, which in this day and age can only be supported by value-added models such as upcycling food.
“We at SAGA, thrive to utilize every facet of the raw produce. We instil a sense of ownership for produce sourced directly from the Earth. For Example, we use fish skin to make chips, Mutton neck bone to make stock and any kind of vegetable peel we dehydrate them and use it as a garnish,” she added.
The conceptual thought process behind upcycling food looks to re-adapt the perception of waste, process waste into more marketable and sustainable products constructing a waste reducing macro impact on the globe.
With restaurants focusing a lot on it, Upcycled food is now a global trend. As per Food and Agriculture Organization, 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year which represents 30 per cent of food. As per a study, food rots, emits methane i.e., 20 times more powerful than carbon-dioxide for producing 70 tons of greenhouse gases or 8 per cent of emission in a year.
What’s happening globally?
According to a report published by Food and Nutrition Sciences revealed that only 10 per cent of consumers are familiar with upcycled food products, but the great news is that once educated about them, 80 per cent say that they would seek them out.
From edible stems, unusual shape or abnormally grown vegetables and fruits to leftover pulp from a fruit juice. Foods that we used to waste till now are being considered as a upcycled food.
London based Michelin Plate Winner & Owner at Heritage Dulwich, Chef Dayashankar Sharma shared, “Restaurants and hotels are where there is a large supply chain and not all the food prepared and cooked in the kitchen is consumed and hence resulting to great amount of food waste. Upcycled food prevents this by creating new and high quality products from surplus food building a sustainable food system. Now using these upcycled ingredients has a few benefits.”
He also added that with this on the menu a restaurant is showing commitment to sustainability. Even big establishments like Michelin are promoting this with their New Michelin Green Star. Also, Upcycled food gives more nutrients and we can leverage this in engineering a very attractive and healthy menu promoting sustainability.
Commenting on the same Vanshika Bhatia of Petite Pie pointed, “I am focusing a lot on upcycling products. Not just waste but also the ingredients which people don't usually like to eat at restaurants like lauki, tinda. I use them in new interesting ways to make them more appealing.”
She also mentioned that we should start replacing zucchini with a seasonal gourd, not using lettuce in salads but using tender seasonal greens like amaranth leaves, poi saag , methi etc, making ravioli filling out of peels like carrot peels , using celery leaves and coriander roots to give flavor to a dish.
Hence, we can say that Upcycling is all about repurposing something that is deemed unusable into a new form.