Salt & Straw Is Attempting To Reduce Food Waste With New Flavors

More than most ice cream brands, Portland-based ice creamery Salt & Straw thrives on collaboration, creating new partnerships — and new flavors — with fellow businesses on a monthly basis. According to a press release sent to Mashed, the chain's latest collab series features five new flavors, all of which use upcycled food items like leftover bread, whey, cacao beans, soy pulp, and barley milk.

Two of the five flavors — salted caramel and okara cupcakes, as well as malted chocolate barley milk — join Salt & Straw's vegan collection, while the other three join the dairy line. The cow's milk flavors include day-old bread pudding and chocolate ganache, cacao pulp and chocolate stracciatella gelato, and lemon curd and whey. All five will be available from May 26 throughout the month of June at Salt & Straw stores and via delivery.

In an interview with Forbes, one of Salt & Straw's co-founders said that, through partnerships with like-minded brands they "really want people to know about," the Upcycled Foods Association-certified ice cream series will save about 38,000 pounds of food from ending up in landfills. Who are the partners behind these upcycled ingredients?

The brands upcycling with Salt & Straw

This isn't the first time that Salt & Straw has turned leftovers and food byproducts into ice cream. The chain first used bread collected by Urban Gleaners, a nonprofit that tackles food insecurity and initially inspired Salt & Straw's use of "trash" ingredients, in 2017 for a toasted baguette PB&J flavor. This time, the bread is going inside the new bread pudding and chocolate ganache ice cream. Similarly, the chain's collab with Renewal Mill is also a repeat, and the duo's salted caramel cupcake flavor is made with a soy milk byproduct called okara flour.

As for the lemon curd and whey and malted chocolate barley milk flavors, Salt & Straw has teamed up with The Spare Food Co. and EverGrain, respectively. Spare Food focuses on repurposing whey, a cheesemaking byproduct, and fruit and to mitigate climate change, while EverGrain upcycles barley to utilize its "untapped potential" as a vegan protein. Lastly, Salt & Straw created its cacao pulp and chocolate stracciatella gelato with Blue Stripes, which sells products made with all of the edible portions of cacao. Because cacao (versus cocoa) is a superfood, the more you can use of it, the more benefits you reap and the less product goes to waste.