Critic's Notebook

3 Cool Products Turn Food Waste into Dinner

Time to get on this sustainability bandwagon, people.

By Kathryn Robinson August 15, 2016

Kokomo verjusr in a bottle bxv2kx

Image: Kokomo Winery

In view of the burgeoning “ugly food” movement—in which consumers are beginning to recognize the value of eating produce that is unattractive or otherwise considered waste, and which I wrote about this month—comes news from Seattle artisanal retail/wholesale grocer, Marx Foods, of a few cool products which spin food waste into deliciousness.

Consider Seattle gin distiller Jeff Steichen, of Batch 206 Distillery, who created Distillery Provisons with partner Kelly Gaddis when they realized that the spent aromatics used to flavor gin could do other things—like flavor pickles. Hence, Distillery Provisions Gin Pickles (see slide #7).

Or Western New York producer, Stony Brook Wholehearted, which takes the seeds discarded from pre-cut squash operations, then roasts and presses them into cooking oils, like Butternut Squash Seed Oil. That’s not all: The seed bits filtered out in the process become exfoliants in handmade soaps, with the leftover seedcake becoming pig feed.

Or Kokomo winery in Sonoma, which finds an alternative use for the underripe grape clusters vintners snip off early in the season to concentrate sugars. Time was, those grapes went straight to compost—but Kokomo harks back to the medieval practice of pressing them into Kokomo Verjus, a tart stand-in for vinegar or lemon, which lends subtle brightness and naturally ups aromatics.

You can get them all at Marx.


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