Pilot 3: Maine Upcycled Food Products

After discovering how many surplus crops farmers struggled to sell (pilot 2), we knew we had to figure out new markets for their use.

Upcycled food products are foods (often surplus food or produce seconds) that are repurposed through processing techniques.


  • To expand the available markets for surplus crops.
  • To increase the shelf life of food and make it more versatile.


  1. We met with the USDA to see what the biggest food waste categories in Maine were.
  2. We collaborated with Kennbec Valley Community College’s food preservation cooking class.
  3. Local farms brought their surplus crops to the culinary arts program for experimentation in preserving their surplus harvest.
  4. The students created creative and nutritious recipes out of this surplus harvest.
  5. Because this happened during the Covid-19 lockdown, recipe samples were mailed out, and a Zoom meeting was held with our partners to determine the efficiency of these recipes in the market.


  • Sodexo
  • Pineland Dairy
  • Good Shepherd Food Pantry
  • Walter Beesley (Maine Public Schools Director of Nutrition)


After being vetted by our partners, recipes for surplus apples, butternut squash, skim milk, and cheese were created. Check out Solution 4’s tools & resources to find these recipes!

Photo of upcycled products made by KVCC students.

“We Mainers carry values we learned from our grandparents. We work hard and we don’t like to waste anything. That’s why we work to recognize the hard work of Maine farmers, turning their perfectly good surplus into delicious food for Maine families.” – KVCC Culinary Arts Student