Episode 20

Upcycled Foods: Building a Better, More Sustainable Food System

Dr. Lara Ramdin is the Chief Innovation and Science Officer at Upcycled Foods Inc., which develops new, high quality products out of surplus food.

29 minutes | Jun. 21, 2023

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Dr. Lara Ramdin is the Chief Innovation and Science Officer at Upcycled Foods Inc., which powers the B2B upcycled food economy with product development expertise, cutting-edge technology, and a growing portfolio of ingredient solutions. The company’s patented food upcycling technology creates proprietary ingredients that are delicious, versatile, clean-label, and nutritious from food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Upcycled Foods’ flagship product, ReGrained SuperGrain+®, is the industry-leading upcycled ingredient made from rescued brewer’s “spent” grain (BSG) that has already been cultivated, harvested, and used once but still has more to offer.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Dr. Lara Ramdin talks about Upcycled Foods Inc. and why she joined the company
  • How Dr. Ramdin’s R&D position at Dole influences her waste mitigation approach at Upcycled Foods
  • Standard applications of repurposed brewer’s spent grain (BSG)
  • The importance of cultivating product design partnerships
  • How can individuals take incremental actions to combat food waste?

In this episode…

The modern food system is flawed, as food waste remains a global problem. Approximately 37% of this waste occurs in households, with individuals discarding up to 149 billion meals yearly. Countries like Canada and the UK have introduced green bins to encourage composting of organic food waste, but some people disregard these bins and dispose of their food in the garbage instead. The systemic and widespread nature of this issue makes it overwhelming, leading consumers to feel discouraged. But even small actions can make a significant difference. So how can you support and accelerate food waste reduction efforts?

Dr. Lara Ramdin encourages consumers to amplify their voices to create policy changes. Additionally, small household changes like planning meals one to two weeks in advance can reduce potential waste. Consumers can also purchase certified upcycled foods that use reprocessed ingredients to conserve resources. As a trusted partner to food manufacturers, Upcycled Foods Inc. transforms brewer’s spent grain (BSG) from the beer-making process into fiber and protein-rich bread flour. By harnessing and reintroducing excess nutrients back into the food system, Upcycled Foods creates accessible nutrition and redefines traditional supply chain operations. Partnerships are a key component of widespread change, so Upcycled Foods collaborates with other regenerative food brands to develop diverse upcycled food options.

Resources mentioned in this episode: