With Earth Month underway, chef Mareya Ibrahim, a 28-year food industry veteran and trend watcher, identifies ten new products, services, and habits that can help to reduce methane emissions.
Food waste is a big problem. It is the most common material found in landfills and incinerators. According to the USDA, a startling 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten, winding up in landfills, where it contributes to the release of methane, a heat-trapping gas more potent than CO2.
The pollution isn’t food waste’s only problem. It amounts to billions of dollars in losses — between $161 billion and $218 billion, according to recent EPA estimates.
Ibrahim’s latest book, Eat Like You Give a Fork, (St. Martin’s Griffin) is aimed at changing how people prioritize their wellness through food.
For Earth Month, Ibrahim has identified ten “cool” food trends that will help make the food system more sustainable.
Chef Mareya Ibrahim’s food sustainability trends
1. Cashew nut meat
“The cashew meat from inside the cashew fruit, which is normally thrown out, is a single ingredient, organic product that tastes amazingly like meat, with the same consistency.”
2. Fig brew
“An alternative to coffee made from figs that’s caffeine-free and full of antioxidants, the brew is easy to use and even comes in cups for your coffee maker.”
3. BamNut milk and noodles
“Fiber-filled, naturally high in iron and made sustainably. The carbon footprint of BamNut Milk is seven times less than cow’s milk.”
4. Regrained Upcycled bakery
“ReGrained rescues the nutritious grain created every time beer is brewed. This upcycled grain delivers 3.4x more dietary fiber, prebiotics and protein than whole wheat flour.”
5. Lupini bean flour products
“The latest in plant-based flours, lupini bean flour, called Chocho flour, contains more protein than any other bean, and is a regenerative crop.”
6. Rescued food
“Misfits Market (who acquired Imperfect Foods) works directly with farmers and makers to find organic produce and other grocery items that would otherwise go to waste and deliver them to your door at prices around 40 percent off retail.”
7. Upcycled food
“The Upcycled Food Association (UFA) is a nonprofit working to prevent food waste by working with companies that rescue ingredients that would otherwise end up in landfills to replace an ingredient or create an entirely new product. Look for the logo on foods where you shop.”
8. Antioxidant produce washes
“When you bring your fruit, veggies and herbs home from the store, wash them with eatCleaner, a patented, lab-proven cleanser that helps extend produce shelf life up to 5x longer, naturally.”
9. Scrappy cooking
“Citrus, banana, and veggie peels along with kitchen scraps, like broccoli stems, get new life in sustainapeelity. Discover dozens of ideas in Chef Mareya’s free ‘Save the Peels’ guide at chefmareya.com.”
10. Meal prepping for success
“By having a plan, you’re able to save money, save food from waste and avoid waste associated with take-out food. Visit chefmareya.com for a 12-week meal prep program.”
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