Celebrating Canada’s First-Ever Upcycled Food Festival

At one point or another, we’ve all let perfectly good food go to waste. It happens, but it needs to happen less often. On October 22nd, Canadians from coast to coast celebrate National Food Waste day. It’s a day that deserves our attention; after all, four million Canadians are food insecure. Meanwhile, 58% of the food produced in this country goes to waste. It’s time we take action.

upcycling food

An all-new initiative called the Upcycled Food Festival is nothing short of genius. Taking place across Ontario, the festival aims to reduce food waste and support local at the same time!

Here’s How It Works

According to the Mattson 2021 Study on Food Waste, 60% of Canadians are down with purchasing upcycled products.

The Upcycled Food Fest heard the call for action and brings tasty, sustainable, and local upcycled meals to restaurants, supermarkets, universities, and food banks across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

What’s Upcycled Food?

Upcycled food takes ingredients typically lost in the food supply chain and not eaten by humans and turns them into meals. Upcycled dishes also often include all edible parts of a specific food, making sure none of it goes to waste.

upcycling food

Keeping these ingredients out of the landfill and turning them into something delicious has a positive impact on the environment and fills bellies simultaneously. It’s a win-win!

How To Participate

Anyone can participate in the Upcycled Food Festival, and it doesn’t involve large crowds! Phew.

If you live in the GTA, all you have to do is buy an upcycled meal from a participating restaurant or participating retailer. You can also order a meal kit online.

Culinary Creations

So what kind of dishes can you expect on an upcycled menu?

The festival offers the world’s first fully circular Upcycled Ramen meal kit, and who doesn’t love Ramen noodles?

upcycling food

The kit is priced at $17.99 and features upcycled Ramen noodles, mixed veggies, upcycled tofu pieces, boiled eggs, and two upcycled muffins. It all comes packaged in a locally-made compostable breathable box and green pouches.

Join The Movement

If you live in the GTA, The Upcycled Food Festival is worth supporting. We desperately need to make changes to help feed people and fight climate change. By choosing to eat locally-made upcycled meals, you can do both.

Hopefully, we will see more festivals like this one pop up across Canada and other parts of the world next year. Upcycling has the makings of being a new food movement we can all get behind.

In the meantime, try to think of creative ways to use your leftovers and focus on meal planning to cut down on food waste!

Check out the festival’s website for more information!

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Catherine Sherriffs

Editor at Garden Culture Magazine

Catherine is a Canadian award-winning journalist who worked as a reporter and news anchor in Montreal’s radio and television scene for 10 years. A graduate of Concordia University, she left the hustle and bustle of the business after starting a family. Now, she’s the editor and a writer for Garden Culture Magazine while also enjoying being a mom to her three young kids. Her interests include great food, gardening, fitness, animals, and anything outdoors.