Fancy a packet of salmon skin crisps?

Fancy a packet of salmon skin crisps? Don’t scoff, it’s just one of the new treats made from leftovers

  • Alice Smellie revealed a selection of the best foods made from leftovers 
  • M&S have a range of beers made from the offcuts of their sandwich production
  • Amazon stocks Sea Chips made from discarded, nutrient-packed salmon skins
  • Experts say up to 40 per cent of fresh produce is binned before reaching shops  

We would all like to limit the amount of food wasted in our homes, but no matter how hard we try, the sad truth is that huge amounts of perfectly edible produce are thrown away before they ever get to us.

Experts say as much as a third of all food is wasted and up to 40 per cent of fresh produce ends up being binned before reaching a supermarket shelf. According to charity Wrap, food waste costs our economy £20 billion a year, while the price in terms of environmental damage is potentially far higher.

Luckily, you can help change that — by buying new products cleverly made from the food that would, until recently, have been simply chucked away. Here are the best offerings from retailers turning leftovers into chutneys, crisps — and even beer . . .


Rubies in the Rubble condiments, £3.50 each,

Alice Smellie picked out a selection of the best food products made from leftovers, including Rubies in the Rubble condiments (pictured) which is made from the water left over from cooking chickpeas

WHAT: A sustainable food brand that specialises in using ‘waste’ ingredients. Its mayonnaise is made from the protein-rich water left over from cooking chickpeas for canning. It froths up just like egg whites to make a creamy, vegan condiment that’s also much lower in fat than regular mayo.

The firm makes relishes and chutneys, plus a tomato ketchup and banana ketchup, too, using fruit and veg thrown away by manufacturing plants.

ECO CREDENTIALS: Pretty impressive. Created after founder Jenny Dawson saw the amount of waste at markets in London — all headed for landfill — and decided to make food from it. All products come in recyclable glass jars.


Sea Chips, £20.40 for 12,

Sea Chips (pictured) are a surprisingly tasty and healthy treat made from discarded Atlantic-farmed salmon skins

WHAT: They sound horrid — but they’re surprisingly tasty, and not too unhealthy, either.

Made from discarded, nutrient-packed salmon skins, they’re really more like a pork scratching than a potato-based snack — the skins are light brown and curled into crunchy cones.

They come in many flavours (including lightly salted and lime and chilli) and are a fabulous source of omega 3 and protein. Once you get your head around the concept, they’re delicious.

ECO CREDENTIALS: Truly resourceful. The skin comes from Atlantic-farmed salmon sourced from a producer next to the firm’s factory in Cumbria. Ten per cent of profits are donated to ocean charities.


Simply Ice Cream Peanut Brittle, £4.99 for 500ml, for stockists

Simply Ice Cream Peanut Brittle (pictured) is made using pieces that were too small to include in Fudge Kitchen’s gift boxes 

WHAT: There’s little waste from Fudge Kitchen’s handmade peanut brittle; but any pieces that are too small for gift boxes are packed up for fellow artisan Kent company Simply Ice Cream, which makes an incredible peanut brittle ice-cream with the leftovers.

ECO CREDENTIALS: Fudge Kitchen aims for zero waste, using paper bags and boxes approved by the Forest Stewardship Council.


Oddbox, £18.49 for a large fruit and veg box,

Oddbox (pictured) offers customers the opportunity to purchase boxes containing eight types of seasonal vegetables and fruits that are perceived as having imperfections 

WHAT: A box containing eight types of seasonal vegetables and four kinds of fruit to serve a family of four for up to four meals. It also does small boxes, as well as just fruit or just veg.

ECO CREDENTIALS: When the founders realised that up to 40 per cent of UK produce is wasted before it even leaves the farm because of perceived imperfections, they launched this company to sell misshapen, but still delicious, fruit and vegetables.


Reliquum Plum Spirit, £30,

Reliquum Plum Spirit (pictured) is made using the left overs from a family-run farm such as odd-shaped or split fruits 

WHAT: A fiery spirit made with Lizzie variety plums and the brand’s London dry gin, created using distilled Cotchel apple juice.

This brand is all about sustainability — ‘cotchel’ is market traders’ slang for ‘something left over’, while ‘reliquum’ is Latin for ‘what remains’.

ECO CREDENTIALS: The fruit used in this is what’s left over on a family-run fruit and vegetable farm which aims to waste nothing at all, so odd-shaped or split fruit goes into its gin and juices. The bottles are recyclable, with no plastic packaging.


Spare Snacks Beetroot Crisps, £1.09,

Spare Snacks Beetroot Crisps (pictured) are made using spare fruit and veg that usually appear wonky or misshapen, the snack contains just 63 calories

WHAT: Air-dried crisps made from waste beetroot (the firm also makes apple and pear crisps).

These are not only extremely tasty and crispier than many an air-dried snack, there are only 63 calories in a bag and they are healthy; beetroot is high in protein, potassium and folic acid.

Spare Snacks has just launched pear and ginger, and beetroot and apple cider vinegar flavours.

ECO CREDENTIALS: The firm uses only fruit and veg that is going spare — usually wonky and misshapen products that are still grade-A produce, but simply don’t look perfect.

It comes direct from farmers around Europe, and might be available because of an abundance of supply, apples marked by storm damage or beetroot damaged when removed from the ground.

Farmers are paid a fair price, and Spare is in the process of trialling compostable packaging using a corn starch film.


Flawsome! Drinks, £1.68,

Flawsome! Drinks (pictured) which are made from fruit and vegetables that are rejected by supermarkets has proven to be especially popular with kids

WHAT: Light fruit juices made from so-called wonky fruit.

The company pays farmers 70 per cent of the market price for fruit and veg which has been rejected by supermarkets and would otherwise be thrown away.

Flavours include apple and strawberry and sour apple. Popular with kids, though pretty pricey.

ECO CREDENTIALS: All come in recycled glass bottles and sustainable packs, contain no additives and don’t have to be stored in the fridge.

The founders have won several awards and are backed by Big Ideas Wales, part of the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service.

Over the next three years the company wants to save 3,000 tonnes of waste, rising to 7,000 tonnes over five years.


M&S Used Our Loaf Earl Grey Pale Ale, £2

M&S Used Our Loaf Earl Grey Pale Ale (pictured) is  a tasty beverage, surprisingly made using the offcuts from the supermarket’s sandwich production 

WHAT: An M&S sandwich is a lunchtime treat, and now you can add a tasty beverage to your meal. It has launched a selection of beers made in collaboration with Suffolk brewer Adnams using the offcuts from its sandwich production — essentially, the crusts.

ECO CREDENTIALS: The bread replaces some of the malted barley in the brewing process, helping to reduce the carbon impact of the beers and cut back on food waste. Each batch uses 700kg of surplus bread.

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