Upcycled Food : de la nourriture recyclée pour une économie circulaire

Upcycled Food : de la nourriture recyclée pour une économie ciruclaire

Connaissez-vous l’upcycled food ? Quand on entend le terme « upcycling » on pense généralement à des vêtements créés à partir de chutes de tissu ou de vieux meubles retapés… Pourtant, on parle aussi d’upcycling dans le domaine alimentaire ! On vous explique tout sur cette nouvelle façon de produire durablement.

L’upcycled food, une nécessité contre le gaspillage alimentaire

En France, le gaspillage alimentaire représente 10 millions de tonnes de déchets par an, soit une valeur commerciale de 16 milliards d’euros. Dans le monde, c’est environ un tiers de la nourriture produite pour la consommation humaine qui est gaspillée, ce qui coûte à l’économie 940 milliards de dollars par an. Et tous ces déchets rejettent également 70 milliards de tonnes de gaz à effet de serre par an.

Il y a donc une réelle nécessité d’œuvrer pour la réduction de ce gaspillage de ressources naturelles et d’émission de gaz à effet de serre. C’est pourquoi L’Upcycled Food Association (UFA) a été fondée en 2019 par des entreprises qui “recyclent” leurs produits. Déjà 70 entreprises sont membres de l’association.

Mais qu’est-ce que l’upcycled Food ?

Avant toute chose, définissons le terme d’« upcycling », plus connu en français sous le nom de « surcyclage » ou « upcyclage ». L’upcycling signifie littéralement « recycler vers le haut ». Le principe est de récupérer des matériaux ou des produits dont on n’a plus l’usage afin de les revaloriser. L’upcycling est la création d’une nouvelle valeur pour des déchets !

Quant à l’« upcycled food », l’Upcycled Food Association en donne une définition bien précise : « Les aliments recyclés utilisent des ingrédients qui autrement ne seraient pas allés à la consommation humaine. Ils sont achetés et produits en utilisant des chaînes d’approvisionnement vérifiables, et ont un impact positif sur l’environnement ».

Une des façons dont les organisations essaient de réduire le gaspillage alimentaire est donc de “recycler” les aliments en utilisant des ingrédients qui, autrement, n’auraient pas été destinés à la consommation humaine.

L’upcycling aide donc à atténuer l’insécurité alimentaire. Et cette tendance préserverait suffisamment de nourriture pour nourrir 2 milliards de personnes, soit plus du double du nombre de personnes sous-alimentées à travers le monde ! Mais elle contribue également à promouvoir l’importance de réduire le gaspillage alimentaire sur l’ensemble de la chaîne alimentaire.

De la nourriture recyclée pour une économie circulaire

Ainsi, l’upcycling s’inscrit dans une logique d’économie circulaire et dans un processus de développement durable à impact positif. L’objectif est bien sûr de préserver l’environnement, mais aussi de créer un écosystème durable qui réduirait l’extraction de ressources nouvelles en fonctionnant en cycles fermés à partir de produits en fin de vie.

L’upcycled food doit élever l’alimentation à son plus haut et meilleur niveau d’utilisation. C’est-à-dire, pour la consommation humaine, plutôt que pour l’alimentation animale ou les cosmétiques.

Ce processus durable, qui permet des économies d’énergie et de matériaux, engendre ainsi une économie financière non négligeable. Mais l’upcycling reste encore très peu développé à l’échelle industrielle, alors qu’il répond à une forte demande des consommateurs en termes de développement durable.

En effet, ce marché a un fort potentiel ! D’après le rapport de Fooddive, “Upcycling: A Big Food problem with a startup solution?”, 39% des consommateurs souhaitent actuellement acheter des aliments et des boissons contenant des ingrédients « upcycled » et 57% d’entre eux prévoient d’en acheter davantage l’année prochaine.

Des marques qui proposent de l’upcycled food

Résurrection fabrique des crackers à partir de drèches de brasserie. Ce concept est né d’une prise de conscience : la production de 1000 litres de bière génère 300 kg de drèches, directement jetés à la poubelle. Ces drèches, sont les résidus du brassage des céréales, généralement utilisés pour l’alimentation animale. Ceux-ci sont cependant encore riches en nutriments : protéines, vitamines, minéraux, fibres. L’entreprise fabrique également des crackers issus des co-produits de pommes provenant de la fabrication du cidre.

Résurrection - Cookies Upcycled

Toast Ale transforme les déchets de pain des boulangeries locales en bière. Non seulement ils détournent le pain, l’un des aliments les plus gaspillés , des décharges, mais ils réduisent également la quantité de céréales nécessaires pour brasser la bière.Toast Ale - Bière Upcycled

Repurposed Pod conçoit du jus de cacao à partir de la pulpe laissée par le processus de fabrication du chocolat.Repurposed Pod - Upcycled Food

Ugly Pickle fabrique des cornichons à partir de concombres “cosmétiquement difficiles” qui seraient autrement jetés.Ugly Pickle - Upcycled Food

Rubies in the Rubble produit des condiments à partir de fruits et de légumes destinés aux ordures du faits de leurs imperfections ou des déséquilibres de la chaîne alimentaire.Rubies in the Rubble - condiments up cycled

Avocado Tea Company produit du thé à partir des feuilles de l’avocatier.
Avocado Tea Company - Thé up cycled

De très bonnes initiatives qui pourraient se multiplier dans le futur. L’Upcycled Food Association souhaiterait d’ailleurs créer des normes de certification sur l’upcycled food. Un logo pourrait voir le jour afin que les entreprises alimentaires l’affichent sur leurs emballages. Les acheteurs sauraient ainsi clairement que leur achat contribue à lutter contre le gaspillage alimentaire.

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