By Adria Leduc
VANCOUVER — “We don’t believe in conventional standards, and in buying Rebel Soup, you’re taking a stand with us,” says Amanda Slater, who aims to challenge the perception that “ugly” produce has no value.
Combining her background in holistic nutrition and the support of a social venture entrepreneurship program, Slater has transformed what started out as a home-based soup club into Rebel Soup, a small business on a mission to tackle farm-level food waste through the simple process of making soup.
Rebel Soup works directly with local farmers to buy their unsellable produce, which can amount to between 30 and 40 per cent of what they grow. These vegetables, though perfectly nutritious, cannot be sold to supermarkets because they do not meet aesthetic standards. In contrast to the aisles of uniform, blemish-free produce found in supermarkets, Rebel Soup embraces unwanted, uniquely shaped veggies and transforms them into nourishing vegan soups.
“Don’t be fooled by a pureed vegan soup!” asserts Slater. The soups are hearty, packed with roughly a pound of veggies in every jar, often combined with ingredients such as nut milks and organic beans for fiber and protein. Slater chooses spices and combinations that bring out the natural flavours of the vegetables in an effort to deepen the connection between people and their food.
Since its launch in early October, Rebel Soup has quickly gained momentum. Slater hopes to have the soups carried by a few cafes and small retailers in the new year. Currently, the soups are available through the online soup club at their website, where you can select your flavours and have the option of delivery or pickup.
Rebel Soup aims to bring awareness to food waste issues by providing a convenient meal option that has a real impact. “Our mandate is ‘good for the environment, good for the farmers, good for you,’” Slater says. “We want to make sure that the farmers are being paid. We want to reduce the amount of food that’s being wasted and be able to provide a very accessible, nutritious meal for people.”
Learn more about and purchase Rebel Soup at rebelsoup.ca.BC, British Columbia, food and drink, Rebel Soup, soup