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Waste Not, Want Not

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When food is wasted, so are all of the resources used to grow and deliver it to the table. It also increases carbon footprint, contributing to global warming and climate change. Cognisant of this, some companies and enterprises here are doing their part to reduce food wastage

Singapore may be a small country, but it produced 813,000 tonnes of food waste in 2022. On average, this means that each resident generated almost 150kg of surplus food last year! Let’s see how some businesses and initiatives tackle this ever-growing issue.

Food Upcycling

As the popular saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. When it comes to food waste, this rings especially true for these Singaporean companies that are giving discarded food a second lease of life.

Credit: CRUST Group

Beer made from bread, anyone? Yes, you heard that right – CRUST Group takes surplus ingredients like bread from their F&B partners and turns them into artisanal beers. In addition to boozy brews, CRUST also produces a line of sparkling fruit water made from fruit waste.

N&E Innovations

Credit: Unsplash

In another surprising take on repurposing food waste, N&E Innovations is taking on the durian and turning the king of fruits’ husks into wet wipes. The medical tech firm is also working with a European snack producer to transform cashew byproducts into an organic anti-microbial solution, which can be used in applications such as disinfectants.

Credit: Insectta/Toh Ee Ming

The Black Soldier Fly is the tiny star of Insectta’s business, and it holds huge potential! The insects feed on up to 8 tonnes of food waste, such as soybean byproducts and spent grain from breweries, every month. Subsequently, the insects can be repurposed as animal feed or fertiliser, or their biomaterials, such as melanin, can be harvested.

Credit: Alterpack

Also transforming spent grains from food manufacturers but in an entirely different way is Alterpacks. They turn what would be destined for the landfill into organic food containers, which are freezer and microwave-friendly as well.

Food Redistribution

By channelling surplus but still edible food from businesses to people in need or those who don’t mind consuming perfectly fit-to-eat food, these initiatives and organisations are doing their part to reduce food wastage.

Just Dabao
Credit: Just Dabao

According to Just Dabao, a social enterprise that reduces food waste through a surplus food marketplace, their business model creates a triple-win situation: food stores can sell surplus items, users can enjoy delicious treats at discounted prices, and less food is wasted. We wholeheartedly agree!

Credit: Treatsure

Its working model is similar to Just Dabao’s in that it also sells surplus food items from its F&B partners. However, Treatsure focuses on what it dubs “buffet-in-a-box”, where users can purchase buffet leftovers for a fraction of what a buffet meal would cost. Treatsure also operates an online-to-offline surplus grocery concept store in Tanjong Pagar Plaza.

Fridge Restock Community
Credit: Fridge Restock Community SG Facebook

The Fridge Restock Community Singapore is a group that redistributes “ugly” vegetables and fruits to restock community fridges (20 as of September 2022) in neighbourhoods such as Bedok, Yishun and Toa Payoh. Run entirely by volunteers, the amount of food redistributed is surprisingly huge. One of its recent redistribution drives saw more than five tonnes of vegetables and fruits being sent to seven communities and community fridges!