Chloé Rutzerveld is a critical food designer who experiments with new approaches to the way we cultivate and perceive food. She is a graduate of Eindhoven University of Technology. Fascinated by the strange relationships we form with food and how we eat, she investigates sustainable food production methods and animal-free sources. Now, she’s turned her attention to wastage (specifically in the vegetable industries) with STROOOP! It is a flat, sweet snack made purely out of veggie by-products.
Based on the stroopwafel, a popular kind of cookie from the Netherlands, STROOOP! is made of pressed beetroot, carrot and celeriac. It demonstrates that the use of by-products or rejected vegetable matter can go far beyond being fodder for canned soups or, as is often the case, being thrown away entirely.
Leading by example, Rutzerveld presents the first plant-based stroopwafel by making clever use of the natural attributes of vegetables. The juice of rejected veggies is turned into sweet syrup by drastically reducing its water content and the remaining plant fibres are used to make a firm dough for the waffle layers.
Rutzerveld hopes to make people more aware of what exactly goes into the food they eat (and what is thrown away, for that matter) by shedding some light on the processes that take place before food products end up on supermarket shelves.
These stroopwafels are entirely plant-based and made from by-products of food treatment factories. They are a great source of dietary fiber and free of additional sugar and food-colorings. In this form, they are better for the environment, the farmer and the consumer.
“This project started one night when I was preparing dinner. I took some sweet potatoes out of the oven and saw a kind of caramel-like substance running out of the potatoes. It fascinated me that something we perceive as a ‘healthy vegetable’ could be so easily turned into something extremely sweet that we would see as unhealthy,” says Rutzerveld.
The designer had not intended to turn the concept of STROOOP! into a workable product, but after receiving hugely positive feedback on the taste and quality of her plant-based stroopwafels at public events, Rutzerveld started collaborating with food companies in order to make it a mass-distributable product.
“I never intended to turn the vegetable stroopwafels from proof of concept into a consumer product. But after the enormous succes during the Dutch Design Week 2016 and other events where we let people taste the waffles, it became clear that consumers are really interested in plant-based, healthier and more sustainable alternatives for cookies and snacks! So, at the moment we're figuring out how to turn the stroopwafels from proof of concept into a real consumer product.”