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  • Writer's pictureKevin May

"Upcycled Food" Defined, with Ben Gray, COO of Upcycled Food Association - Ep 06

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

On May 19, 2020 a task force comprised of food industry players, academic researchers and nonprofits unveiled the first formal definition of the term upcycling.

Episode 06 Summary

Defining something as important and meaningful as “Upcycled Food” takes a large vision, incredible dedication, input from many different stakeholders, strong leadership and passionate collaboration. In this episode, we talk with Ben Gray who led the Upcycled Food Definition Task Force and learn about how it was defined, what it means, and what the future holds.

Read the article in Forbes Magazine

For a detailed summary of the task forces findings please read the summary paper: Defining Upcycled Foods: A Definition and Standards for use across Industry, Government, and Academia.


Notable Quotes

We're really trying to get all the value we can out of food that has been grown for people, which means making sure that it goes to feed people.

In 2019, Future Market Insights produced a report estimating the value of the upcycled food industry to be more than $46 billion, with a predicted 5% compound annual growth rate.

One of the reasons I think upcycled food shows such potential is because it allows for variety, which brings strength to a whole [food] ecosystem.

The upcycled food industry is a place where environmental values and economic values truly align.

About our Guest

Ben Gray is a co-founder and the Chief Operations Officer of the Upcycled Food Association, a trade association whose mission is to reduce food waste by growing the Upcycled Food economy. Ben is a registered dietitian, food and nutrition expert, and also serves as affiliate faculty in the Nutrition Department at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Ben road bikes as much as he can and enjoys geeking out about food topics from Trinidad Doubles to mid-90's PBS cooking shows. He is excited to support the innovative brands of the upcycled food industry and extraordinary people behind them, and proud to help grow an organization that sees equitable participation and being evidence-based as central to the mission of reducing food waste.

Contact him at

Connect with him on LinkedIn


About Upcycled Food Association

Upcycled Food Association (UFA) is a nonprofit focused on reducing food waste by growing the upcycled food economy. It was created in 2019 by upcycled food companies themselves, who recognized the power of collaboration in growing a successful food category and environmental movement. 

Through research, strategy, networking, and policy advocacy, Upcycled Food Association is building a food system in which all food is elevated to its highest and best use. UFA is comprised of Members and Associate Members from around the world.

Interested in joining UFA as a Member or Association Member?

Learn more at

Connect with Upcycled Food Association on LinkedIn


Mentioned in the Episode

Here are links to companies and organizations that were mentioned or are some of Ben's favorites, we invite you to visit them.


Thanks to our Sponsors and Production Team:


Upcycled Food Association -

Produced by Hi-Fly'n Productions

Executive Producer | Host: Kevin May

Associate Producer: Amy Gilbert

Creative Development: Sue Marshall

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