Circular food – the end of food waste
In her latest column, industry expert Hanni Rützler focuses on the topic of food waste and circular food.
One third of all food is disposed prematurely. This tremendous waste of food and the growing mountains of rubbish are raising awareness of the problem. They are also inspiring efforts to find out who is responsible, and driving a desire for better solutions. Whereas the zero-waste trend focuses its activities on avoiding waste, the circular food trend takes a brand-new look at the entire product cycle.
It isn’t about reaching a clearly defined food target as efficiently as possible and putting up with a greater or lesser amount of waste. It means establishing a process that produces no waste because the waste produced is already a designated resource for other products. In other words, it’s about imitating natural regeneration systems like those in nature – a circular economy in the truest sense of the word.
Developments of this type play an important role in areas like food packaging. The goal is to keep the materials and products in circulation as long as possible in order to reduce consumption of raw materials and precious resources.
Examples from food processing and the food industry can be counted on one hand. But for organic producers, this trend is an opportunity – not just because their harvests are naturally free of contaminants and are therefore easy to reprocess, but also because the circular mind-set is part of the organic trademark.
Today, it’s mainly the young generation in the gastronomy sector that is increasingly inspired by the circular food trend. Nose-to-tail and leaf-to-root cooking are becoming a source of inspiration for developing innovative recipes. Old bread crumbs are smoked and preserved in butter, vegetable scraps are turned into pastes or fermented, or new dishes are created from radish leaves. Such products and dishes also showcase a company’s values because they tell a story of appreciation and demonstrate the creative use of valuable resources.