What Is Upcycling?
The best definition for upcycling we’ve seen is “creative reuse”—taking something that you were going to discard and figuring out a way to give it new life.
“Wait,” you might be thinking. “Isn’t that the same as recycling?”
Not exactly. Recycling is the process of turning waste into something brand new, like breaking down old cardboard boxes into paper pulp that can be made into newspaper. With upcycling, materials don’t get broken down. Instead, they’re repurposed for something other than their original function. For example, you might upcycle a chipped mug into a pot for a baby succulent or use the stuffing inside of old pillows to make a dog bed. Or, if you happen to run a snack food company, you might upcycle excess corn flour by creating a whole new recipe to use it up.
You see, when we make our Heirloom Cheese Balls, we always have some extra corn flour that we can’t use in our cheese balls recipe. It’s not that we’re buying too much heirloom corn. To make our cheese balls, we start by grinding our mini heirloom popcorn kernels. Then the ground kernels go through a sifter, which separates the cornmeal (the gritty, coarse stuff) from the corn flour (the fine, powdery stuff). The cornmeal is what we use to make our cheese balls because it gives them that crunchy, airy texture that makes them so snackable.
We didn’t know what to do with all the perfectly good corn flour that we had sitting around, so we went back to the kitchen to figure out a creative way to reuse it. Crackers turned out to be just the thing. As wrong as finely ground corn flour is for making cheese balls, it’s more than perfect for making corn crackers. They’re crispy, crunchy and flavorful. Everything we wanted in bite-sized snack crackers.
Now that we’ve added Heirloom Snack Crackers to the Pipcorn family, we use 99.9 percent of the heirloom corn that we purchase from family farmers, so there’s virtually no waste! And since the crackers are made with upcycled corn flour, it only made sense to package them in boxes made from 100 percent recycled cardboard. They are our most sustainable snack yet!
Have you tried our new Heirloom Snack Crackers? Please leave a review and let us know what you think!