Salt & Straw is using ice cream as their soap box to call attention to food waste and world hunger.
The Portland-based scoop shop — now with four locations across the city as well as Los Angeles, San Francisco and, later this year, Seattle — features a special flavor series each month. Typically it focuses on seasonal ingredients or holidays, like Halloween or Thanksgiving.
This June, they're doing something a little different: Making ice cream from food waste.
Tyler Malek, head ice cream maker, worked with Urban Gleaners — the Portland nonprofit that rescues edible, unwanted food from organizations and distributes it to those in need.
Malek and his team created five wildly ingenius limited-time flavors: Breakside Brewery's Spent Grains & Bacon S'mores (using spent grains and malts from the beer-making process and pork belly from local pigs that have been fed on Urban Gleaners surplus food); Urban Gleaners' Toasted Baguette PB&J (using surplus bread from local bakeries); Celery Root and Strawberry Celery Leaf Jam (using Sauvie Island Organics' surplus celery); Ancient Heritage's Lemon Curd & Whey (using the local cheesemakers' whey byproduct, typically thrown away); and Bourbon Distilled Cherries Ambrosia (using the cherries that have been steeped in Eastside Distilling's Cherry Bomb Whiskey), which is vegan.
"The fact that we waste 40 percent of our food in the U.S. while there are families and children not getting the food they need is a horrific reality and something that all of us in the food industry need to focus on changing," Malek says. "This ice cream menu is our little soapbox to talk about this issue and start showing creative ways to combat this problem. We're using excess ingredients in super unique ways, like using spent grains from local breweries, ugly farm vegetables, and leftover breads from local grocery stores."
The June flavor series is available in Portland scoop shops between June 2 and June 31.
To ship flavors nationally, visit: saltandstraw.com/shop/.