Inside: Loop Juice and how this amazing company is reducing food waste by saving the fruit and vegetable outcasts.
Did you know that almost half of fruits and vegetables that are grown around the world end up in the dumpster?
You may be thinking, it’s because they’ve gone bad, lost nutrients or they’re deemed unsafe for consumption. But, the reality is that those perfectly nutritious and healthy foods are being thrown away because they either:
- have a weird shape, color or look,
- due to issues with stock management, AND
- because they simply don’t adhere to what’s deemed ‘normal’
Meet Loop Mission, an amazing Montreal-based company that’s giving hope to all fruits and veggies by repurposing the outcasts.
How you may be wondering?
By turning them into delicious and refreshing cold-pressed juices. And that’s not all, to close the loop they give all the leftover pulp that’s high in fiber and nutrients to a company that turns it into fabulous dog treats.
Enough said, we are in LOVE and we just had to sit down with CEO & Co-Founder Julie Poitras-Saulnier to learn more about this amazing mission, what we can do to help reduce food waste as well as some exciting stuff to look forward to.
INSIDE LOOP JUICE
“Nobody likes to be rejected, not even food.”
1) One of our main goals over the past couple of years has been to reduce food waste. That’s why we were very excited to come across your company. And, if it were any other juice company we would have easily walked by, but as you say LOOP is so much more than a juice company, please can you tell us a little bit more LOOP’s story and what inspired it?
LOOP is not a juice company, it’s a circular economy company that creates value out of waste. We save fruits and vegetables that are normally rejected by the food industry and transform them into awesome cold-pressed juices. We also reuse our own waste, which is a lot of fiber, to create vegan dog treats.
The idea came 2 years ago when Frederic Monette from Courchesne Larose, a major fruits and vegetable distributor, contacted David Cote and I, looking for ways to reduce waste in their company. Every day, they threw away 16 tons of produce, a reality shared by every player in the industry. Most of these fruits and vegetables were still very good for consumption, but were discarded because of their shape, size, color or just because they did’t have a long enough shelf life to survive the entire cycle of distribution that usually takes 2 to 3 weeks. So we’ve decided to do something about it, and we created LOOP 🙂
2) Our name says it all, at Naughty Nutrition we don’t like to place restrictions on eating, we rather focus on finding the healthiest version of the foods we love and creating balance in our lifestyles. At Loop Mission, what would you say your motto is?
Our main mission is to develop partnerships with other businesses to transform trash into treasure. For our model to work, we need to connect businesses together, we can’t do it on our own. Our second mission is to make quality clean label products more accessible, thanks to our business model!
3) How much food and vegetable waste is there in Canada and the world?
One third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is wasted, which amounts to 1.3 billion tons per year. For fruits and vegetables, it’s even worse, with 45% of fruits and vegetables being wasted. For only apples in Canada, we throw away 1,225,000 every single day. More data on food waste here.
4) In your opinion, what can each one of us do to reduce food waste at home?
A very large part of the food that is being wasted occurs at home (almost 50% of all waste), so every consumer can really contribute to solving this issue. And it’s also a way of saving a lot of money! Here are a few tips:
- Store produce properly to increase shelf life.
- Shop for groceries more often and buy only what you need.
- Be creative (replace ingredients in a recipe with what you have available).
- Eat the entire thing: there are tons of very good recipes online on how to transform carrot leaves into pesto for example.
You can get more tips on reducing food waste at home here.
5) Could you tell us a little bit more about the entire process, where do you source the fruits/vegetables and how are they processed into the delicious juice blends?
Our main partner is Courchesne Larose, a fruit and vegetable distributor. Most of our produce comes from them, but since they’re also working with many farmers, we have also developed relationships with some of them. We recently started working with Sobeys to repurpose their warehouse overflow into raw protein smoothies.
6) Our favourite loop juice is the High Achiever and we also love Beach Bum. Which one is your favourite? What about your best seller?
My favorite is also the High Achiever! I’m a real beet lover and it is very beety, but it’s actually not one of our best sellers. The most popular is the Morning Glory, which is our only juice that has only fruits (no veggies!). It’s more of a classic: clementine, orange and strawberries. It’s almost impossible not to love it. We even keep the strawberry leaves in it, as they’re super good for consumption, full of benefits and another way to reduce food waste.
7) Do you have a refreshing cocktail recipe that you can share with us?
We have a lot of those! A really good one is:
- 1 ½ oz of Gin
- 2 oz of Beach Bum
- 6 oz of Kombucha
- Dash of lime Juice
- Basil Leaves
Simply mix and enjoy!
8) Give us the scoop, are you planning to release any new products or blends? What is your ultimate goal?
We actually have many new products coming with the same closed-loop concept! 🙂
We’re launching a line of sour beer made of day-old bread mixed with perfectly imperfect fruit juice. Every day in Canada, we throw away 750,000 breads, and most of it is still very good for consumption, so we’ve decided to brew it. Basically, bread is grains, and beer is fermented grains so it’s super easy.
9) And finally, where can our readers find your juices?
Our juices are available across Canada in many health food stores, café and bakeries. In Ontario, they’re also available at Longo’s, Healthy Planet, Organic Garage, Fiesta Farm, Sweet Potato. For a full list of our point of sale, people can go on our website (http://loopmission.com/loop-locator/), write their postal code and find the closest store that carries our products.
Photo credit: @spehricity