#083 – Kaitlin Mogentale: How Pulp Pantry is Upcycling Would-Be Waste, Changing the Food System, & Creating Delicious Snacks
October 16, 2018
In the beginning, there was juice – then there was pulp. But what do you do with it? That’s the question that led Kaitlin Mogentale to found Pulp Pantry, a fruit and vegetable snack company on a mission to usher in a new wave of good nutrition and sustainability that’s accessible to everyone.
“A toast to all of the amazing women who are changing our food system!” –Kaitlin Mogentale
It all started with a carrot. Kaitlin saw her friend making juice and, always wearing her environmental studies hat, she immediately saw how much pulp was wasted. In fact, after some research, Kaitlin found that for each pound of juice produced, as much four pounds of nutritious pulp is created (and, usually, wasted). When you add up all of the commercial juicers just in the LA area, that’s thousands of pounds of delicious and nutritious food thrown away each week!
So Kaitlin started tinkering, beginning with a batch of delicious carrot pulp cookies. Eventually, she stumbled onto Pulp Pantry’s flagship product: grain-free granola!
“Businesses and brands have the potential to change culture – and brands have emotional value!” –Kaitlin Mogentale
We also discuss:
The origins of Pulp Pantry
Waste in the juicing industry (and the food industry in general)
Making healthy food accessible in food desert communities
How we can incorporate environmentalism into capitalism
Why packaging is Kaitlin’s archnemesis
Where you can purchase Pulp Pantry snacks
Bringing the human element into Pulp Pantry
The process of creating Pulp Pantry snacks
The challenges to making healthy foods more accessible (and how Pulp Pantry is overcoming this)
What you can expect from Pulp Pantry’s product line in the near future
Living in South Los Angeles, Pulp Pantry’s founders Kaitlin and Ashley were confronted with the reality of living in a food desert plagued by a lack of access to healthy food. As classmates at the University of Southern California in the social enterprise program, they were excited to join forces to dream up their own small way to be a part of the solution.
Working at an urban school garden in a food desert, Kaitlin was exposed to the poor quality of food “fueling” kids’ bodies each day (what with french fries counting as a daily vegetable!). She saw kids come into the garden, having never seen a fresh carrot before, teaching them to grow a carrot from seed to stem (later exclaiming: “carrots are my favorite vegetable!”).
It all started when Pulp Pantry’s founder Kaitlin Mogentale watched a friend juice a carrot. That moment proved to be quite transformative, as she saw firsthand the large amount of fresh pulp that was left behind.
“What do you do with your pulp?”
Her friend admitted to having no clue about what to do with the pulp, meaning this resource was destined for the trash.
With a background in Environmental Studies, Kaitlin’s inner food waste warrior couldn’t help but want to rescue the carrot’s better half. She happily took the pulp home to make her first-ever juice pulp carrot cookies (and they were delicious!).
Our vision is to cultivate a better, more nutritious food reality in communities regardless of income — one day, we hope to be in not just health food markets, but in corner stores in every part of the country.
I love the world of food and beverage, everything about it, it’s soo damn sexy! Every time we eat and drink it ignites us sensually…the look, texture, taste, smell, sound all in a unique combination, encapsulating a moment in time. The act of sharing a meal with friends, chatting, eating, and drinking together is so forking perfect. It is a feeling that echoes a sense that All Is Good! Very, Very good!