Why Upcycled Produce Must Be Part of Our Future

Why Upcycled Produce Must Be Part of Our Future






Food waste is a big problem globally and in Canada, and fruits and vegetables account for roughly 45 percent of food waste globally (1).

Reducing Food Waste is a Top Priority in the Fight Against Climate Change

According to Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, food waste is responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions and eliminating it is a top priority in the fight against climate change (2).

50 Litres = Water Used to Grow a Single Orange

Considering the number and amount of resources that go into growing produce—from the soil, clean water, and fertilizer to the equipment and people hours, transportation, and all of their respective energy footprints—it’s easy to see how reducing produce waste alone would help to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We Need to Revalue Misfit Produce

Letting produce go to waste means that all of those valuable resources are used up for nothing. Whether a fruit or vegetable is too small, deformed or simply “ugly”, we need to start seeing produce for what it is: something of value!

A Big Part of Produce Waste Occurs Before it Even Makes it to Your Shopping Basket

Unfortunately, the problem is bigger than simply choosing ugly fruit at the supermarket (although that’s a great practice too). A big part of produce waste occurs at the farm, distributor, and grocer level, meaning food is wasted before it even reaches your shopping basket (3). This is because the size/volume of a fruit or vegetable harvest is often difficult to predict due to environmental factors. If the supply of a fruit or vegetable exceeds demand at any given period of time (defined by its fresh shelf life), then the excess is usually thrown out, and often getting the timing right between supply and demand is a big challenge. Additionally, perfectly nutritious produce is often deemed “unsellable” because it doesn’t meet the grocer’s strict standards (i.e. too small, deformed, etc.).


Upcycling helps to reduce produce waste by disrupting this wasteful, archaic supply chain.

Upcycled Fruit

What is Food Upcycling?

According to the Upcycled Food Association, upcycled food refers to products made with ingredients that otherwise would not have gone to human consumption, and are sourced and produced using verifiable supply chains, and have a positive impact on the environment (4).

Food Upcycling Can Take on Many Forms

While the focus of this blog post is specifically on produce upcycling, it’s worth mentioning that the concept of food upcycling can be applied in many different ways. For example, our Pure Canadian Marine Collagen is made from by-products of North Atlantic fish (you can read more about our collagen sourcing here) while our 5 Plant Protein Powder includes four different by-products: fava bean protein extracted during fava bean starch production (for noodle manufacturing) as well as pumpkin, hemp, and cranberry seed proteins and fibre from seed oil production (the main market drivers). In the case of our plant protein, these by-products would not have been thrown out without Landish’s intervention, but nonetheless the consumption of these powdered plant proteins is what makes this zero-waste practice possible in the first place.

Why Popular Produce Upcycling Solutions Aren’t Enough

Although produce upcycling has been adopted by some startups in the consumer packaged goods industry, it’s yet to be picked up by larger corporations and the mainstream solutions don’t quite reach the full potential that this concept has to offer in terms of reducing waste while preserving the full nutritional value of the whole food.

What About Juicing? Isn’t That Upcycling?

Juicing can definitely be an effective way to upcycle rescued produce, and we fully support it, but it does have a few drawbacks:

  • Limited shelf life: cold-pressed (unpasteurized) juices preserve nutrients but have a very limited shelf life, which means there’s a greater risk that the end product will be wasted.
  • Packaging waste: the packaging used to bottle cold-press juices creates a significant amount of waste (for instance, one jar of Landish’s Smarter Juice Mixes eliminates the need for around 30 juice bottles).
  • Removes valuable fibre: juicing removes gut-healthy fibre found in the original fruit or vegetable.
What About The Dried Fruit I Eat?

Not all dried fruit is necessarily upcycled, since upcycling requires purchasing/procuring produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. Plus, dehydrating fruit with conventional methods actually destroys a lot of its nutrition and antioxidants. The objective should not just be to save food, but also to maintain the highest nutritional value possible.


Preserving the Nutritional Value From Transportation to Processing

To ensure the highest quality and freshness, Landish works with a supply chain involving a processing partner, farms, distributors, grocers, and other food processors. Our whole fruits and veggies are initially transported on cold trucks (to preserve nutritional value) to a facility where they’re made into nutrient-dense powders using a patent-pending process that prevents oxidation during dehydration, preserving vitamins and other non-vitamin antioxidants.

1 Jar of Smarter Juice Mix ≈ 1.5 kg of Rescued Produce

With every jar of our Smarter Juice Mixes, not only are you rescuing approximately 1.5 kg of fresh produce, but you’re also ensuring that each ingredient is elevated to its best use.


Don’t waste a sip! Shop our products containing health-boosting upcycled ingredients and start saving produce now!

SmarterGreens Juice Mix

Made from Canadian-farmed rescued leafy greens (spinach, kale, and parsley) and apples, and boosted with other supergreens (spirulina, water lentil, moringa, and grasses) our SmarterGreens Juice Mix provides a convenient source of fibre and antioxidants, such as carotenoids, polyphenols, and chlorophyll. Eating your greens has never been easier (or more environmentally friendly)! P.S. We’re not big fans of high-intensity sweeteners like stevia, so didn’t include any.

SmarterBerries Juice Mix

A blend of upcycled blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and apples, our SmarterBerries Juice Mix is a great source of health-boosting antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), and polyphenols.

Landish Antioxidant Juice Mixes

Maca Mate Beet Latte

Our Maca Mate Beet Latte Mix is also made with rescued beets providing a source of energy-boosting compounds like nitrates and betalain, as well as key nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and folate.

Landish Maca Mate Beet Latte Mix
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2018). Beauty (and taste!) are on the inside.
  • Project Drawdown (2021). Reduced Food Waste.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2018). Global Food Losses and Food Waste.
  • Upcycled Food Association (2021). About the Association.




Daniel Novak

Landish Co-Founder & CEO

Dan is a corporate world escapee who is passionate about nutrition, sustainability and the innovation that can link the two. He overcame some serious digestive health issues by building a wellness routine focused on super nutrient-dense, functional and gut-healthy foods that helped him restore balance. He’s also a part-time reduce-reuse-recycle-compost enforcement officer among his occasionally annoyed but compromising family and friends.

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