Introducing Ice Cream Made from Food Waste

jpellgen via Flickr//CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
jpellgen via Flickr//CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 / jpellgen via Flickr//CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the U.S., we throw out an estimated 30 to 40 percent of our food supply—the majority of which is still edible. To prevent perfectly good meal ingredients from getting tossed in the trash, Fast Company reports that Salt & Straw, an ice cream company based in Portland, Oregon, plans to launch a limited-edition menu this June featuring flavors made from rescued foods.

Salt & Straw—which has locations in Portland and Los Angeles, and upcoming ones in San Francisco and Seattle—has partnered with local businesses and organizations like Urban Gleaners and the Portland Fruit Tree Project, both of which rescue edible, surplus food and give it to the needy, to create these unique treats. Salt & Straw will use their excess bounty to develop new, creative flavors, and raise public awareness about food waste.

Plenty of factors contribute to food waste, including lack of storage space, lack of distribution chains, and passing food fads, Salt & Straw explained in a press release. But at the same time, many people in the U.S. go hungry.

“We were really struck by the idea that we waste 40 percent of our food in the United States, and that children in our cities are going hungry,” Salt & Straw founder Kim Malek told Fast Company. “If we were able to use that food, we could wipe out hunger.”

Salt & Straw estimates that their June menu will only save around 2000 pounds of discarded food from ending up in landfills. That said, the company’s end goal is more about educating customers, and proving that “it’s possible to make something incredible and fun out of something that was going to be wasted,” according to Tyler Malek, Salt & Straw’s head ice cream maker.

Salt & Straw's June menu will feature flavors including Second-Steeped Rum Spices and Apple Butter and Spent Brewer’s Malts & Candied Bacon S’mores. For the former flavor, Salt & Straw teamed up with Urban Gleaners and Portland’s Eastside Distillery. They’ll make the frozen treat from spices used to make rum, and apples that were too bruised to sell at market. The second ice cream will be flavored with used grains and malts from Breakside Brewing, a local brewery, and contain bacon made from the pigs at Naked Acres, a near-zero-waste local farm.

Salt & Straw’s food waste-inspired ice cream series will run through June, and will be available at shops in Portland, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

[h/t Fast Company]