002 - Upcycling Opportunities with Daniel Kurzrock of ReGrained

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Today, you will hear from Daniel Kurzrock, CEO and Co-Founder of ReGrained, an ingredient platform, and packaged foods innovator, that specializes in upcycling overlooked and undervalued ingredients.

In this episode, Dan explains how ReGrained works with brewery partners to rescue the grain after they have extracted the sugars needed to make beer, using this byproduct to create upcycled nutrition bars, puffs, and premium ingredients. Find out about the scale of the food waste issue and the exciting opportunities available in upcycling to put food to its best use – feeding people!

Dan believes that we can create real and effective change through creative thinking and acting on our ideas. Listen until the end to hear a simple process you can use to find upcycling opportunities in your business today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Hear a brief introduction of Dan and his work, and how upcycling combats food waste.
  • Dan shares some of the numbers on food waste and explains why it is such a big issue.
  • Exciting opportunities in upcycling and putting food to its best use; feeding people.
  • The concept of creating products out of waste isn’t a groundbreaking one; think of whey, a byproduct in the cheesemaking process.
  • Dan explains how this business was borne from a college hobby of home brewing beer.
  • Hear about ReGrained’s basic business model; from beer to CPG products.
  • The differences between upcycling, recycling, and downcycling in terms of food.
  • The market opportunity in reducing food waste due to an increase in consumer interest.
  • Why upcycling food is the ultimate intersection between sustainability and health – and, done well, it’s also very tasty!
  • ReGrained’s vision is to work with other companies to create more upcycled food products.
  • Choosing to engage in upcycling is 100% within your control to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Other examples of upcycling; including root-to-stem or nose-to-tail culinary trends.
  • Dan reiterates that upcycling isn’t a new concept; food has always been like this!
  • The issue with labeling a product “waste” and how ReGrained has gotten around it.
  • Dan names some of his upcycling contemporaries, like Spare Food Co or Pulp Pantry.
  • Utilizing cascara or the coffee fruit and leaf from the plant, rather than just the bean for coffee.
  • Similarly, the cacao fruit can be used for a range of products, not just the seeds for chocolate.
  • How Toast Ale brews craft beer with surplus fresh bread that would otherwise be wasted.
  • Dan’s tip for those looking to get into upcycling: stop thinking about it and just get started!
  • How upcycling presents opportunities to break down traditional silos within companies.
  • Creating shared value between ingredient companies and food companies.
  • How upcycling creates economic value for suppliers by buying ingredients that would otherwise be wasted.
  • Advice for upcyclers to overcome future&

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