Now, a Japanese research team is converting food waste into biodegradable construction material, using discarded items from supermarkets such as vegetables, tea leaves and coffee grounds.
Following their patent-pending process, the food waste is dried, pulverised and then heat-pressed into a mould.
Depending on its contents, the resulting material is four times stronger than traditional concrete and could soon be used to make everyday household objects.
The addition of spices and aromas ensures the untreated moulds smell and taste good.
Because in an emergency they can still be cooked – so long as they haven’t been made waterproof with Japanese lacquer.
These days, coffee cups are edible too.