Why Upcycling Juice Pulp is Serious Business
In the United States, we waste as much as 40% of our food. Yet as all of this food goes to landfills, nearly one in six Angelenos suffer from food insecurity and only 13% of Americans eat their daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. What does a snack company have to do with all this? Meet our resident pulp and plant-lover Kaitlin Mogentale.
CMC: What's your origin story?
KM: At a friend’s house, I happened to see a bunch of carrots being juiced, and noticed the huge volume of byproduct pulp produced (in a ratio of 3.5 pounds pulp for every pound juice.) My friend, knowing I was already crazy about sustainability, admitted she normally tossed the nutritious fresh pulp in the trash. I took the pulp home and made delicious carrot cake cookies! The next day I called juiceriesup and found out that all of them tossed their byproduct as well. I also worked at an urban garden in South Los Angeles, and I noticed that kids were coming to school having only eaten Cheetos or Twinkies for breakfast. So I thought, there's this gap that we can bridge to connect a resource of surplus with kids and families who have no access to meaningfully nutritious food. Thus Pulp Pantry was born!
Do you grow any fruits or veg at home? Yes! My baby basil plant is consuming all of my attention right now. Our backyard has many fruit trees, mint, strawberries and tomatoes, thanks to the previous owner. It’s a meditation to care for my plants - and I find that it’s a way to check in with my stress levels. When I’m feeling stressed or pressed for time, simple actions like watering the plants makes me grateful for the small miracles that surround us every day.
If Pulp Pantry was a plant that you are growing, what would you sing to it? Feeling Good by Nina Simone!