The Spent Goods Company was born out of frustration at seeing so much waste in the world–waste that’s harmful to the environment. We’re at a critical moment in history where real changes, both large and small, are necessary to mitigate the dangers of climate change.
Inspired by organizations like the Plastic Bank and other nonprofits that are developing fiscal incentives for recycling plastic, we set out to be part of the solution by finding a similar model that helps our local community.
Rather than relying purely on goodwill to help fight climate change, we want to encourage greater participation from businesses by highlighting the value proposition of limiting waste. In short, we’re showing how food ‘waste’ can be transformed into revenue, rather than filling landfills where it contributes to greenhouse gases. For instance, used coffee grinds are being transformed into clothing and brewer’s waste into bricks, animal feed, and mushroom spawn.
Diverting food waste from landfill could reduce 70 gigatons of CO2 by 2050. The good news is that 5 US states, as well as Vancouver and Ontario, have already started exploring food waste landfill diversion as part of their circular economy initiatives. And some companies already reuse their food waste to make money. For instance, MillerCoors produces inputs for high-fiber foods, vitamin supplements, and pharmaceuticals–all from their by-products.
The Spent Goods Company strives to:
- Inspire social acceptance of upcycling food
- Encourage greenhouse gas reduction through financial incentives
- Promote local adoption of circular economy solutions
We believe that individuals and businesses will embrace solutions when social benefits are reinforced by financial gains.
Phase 1 (2018 – Present): Beer->Bread
We’re currently working with craft breweries to transform their leftover barley grains (spent grains) into delicious food.
How do we make Beer Bread?
To make baked goods, Spent Goods facilitates the sourcing of spent grains from Henderson Brewing Co to artisan bakery, Drake Commissary.
Special mention to Jonathan, Jonas, Roma, Mia, Kentaro, Tim, Colton and rest of the bakery team, who are responsible for baked works of art.
Spent Goods handles distribution of freshly baked goods via online, physical retails and farmer’s markets.
Why Barley Grains?
Every year, 185,000,000 kilograms of brewery grains end up in Ontario landfills.
With that, we could produce two loaves of bread for every resident of Ontario…. every week for a year!
Not to mention, these brewery grains have twice the amount of fibre and protein compared to standard wheat.
We work locally as much as possible.
We’re seeking to transform the significant volume of spent grains produced by urban craft breweries and feed people locally, instead of transporting to landfills or animal farms hours outside of the city.
By working with local businesses, we encourage a more resilient local food supply – For instance, Mark from K2Milling provides us with seasonal and certified organic wheat, kamut and rye flours.
We believe that when local businesses collaborate, we all win.
Local businesses realize cost savings / generate revenue / promote a sustainable lifestyle through sale of Spent Goods.
What are we doing that is unique?
We’re food transformers – when we see spent grains, we don’t see the traditional linear way of single use and then disposal to landfill or use as animal feed.
Instead, we’re finding practical, multiple uses for spent grains, prior to disposal.
In addition to incorporating spent grains into bread, spent grains can also be transformed into corrugated cardboard. Imagine the impact that Amazon would have if they used cardboard that incorporated even a small percentage of spent grains!
Thus, we’re expanding the functionality (and perceived value) of spent grains while feeding people.
Phase 2: Bread-> Beer
By adding day old bread to beer mash, we can transform Bread-> Beer.
We call it Sourdough IPA
We’re proof that you can make Bread into Beer and then use Beer to make Bread.
i.e., Bread -> Beer -> Bread …
Phase 3: Spent coffee -> Grow Mushroom based Building Insulation
We’re exploring solutions to deal with the spent coffee grinds generated by urban coffee shops.
We’re part of the circular economy, which is an alternate way of doing business that extracts as much value as possible from resources by recycling, repairing, reusing, repurposing, or refurbishing products and materials—eliminating waste and greenhouse gas emissions at the design stage.