Food wastage is a massive issue. We waste 6 billion a year in Australia alone, never mind countries far larger than us! The world has plenty to eat, if we just stopped throwing away perfectly fresh food. It’s infuriating to me sometimes, just how simple the solution is! I wrote another little post about food wastage and the ‘shame list’ we’ve implemented at home here if you fancy reading. For this post, I’ve decided to set a mission. Let’s look at a few things that often end up in the bin, and see what we can do with them to make a little difference to the planet and to our nourishment in a couple of cases too! I have a crazy goal that we can get to 100 things to do with scraps. Care to help by adding your own ideas in the comments?
1. Egg shells, veggie scraps, unbleached tea bags. All perfect to pop in your green waste recycling, or to make your own compost for yours or a friend’s garden.
2. Cheese rinds from parmesan, gruyère, gran padano etc… SOUP. The perfect flavourful soup enhancer. Pop them in & pull out before serving.
3. Broccoli or kale stalks. Chop fine and fry in butter, with herbs and celtic sea salt – a fab veggie side for meats and fish, or you could do as my 3 year old does, and eat raw! He’s a minority though, I’m fully prepared to admit!
4. Spinach stalks. Freeze them and use in future casseroles or bakes. The bitterness subsides with cooking.
5. Veggie peelings. Perfect for stock. Save in freezer and pop in when you next make a batch (We cook carrots, potatoes etc whole here though, for the extra fibre)
6. Bread Ends. Those crusts at either side of a loaf. Do you keep them or toss them? Keep them over time in the freezer and when you’ve got enough, pop them in a very low over for an hour or two until they dry out. Blitz them, bag them and use them for crumbing. Pop what’s left in a jar and store in the freezer to avoid pantry moths.
7. Egg shells. Pop them in your compost or green bin. Or you can crush egg shells and sprinkle a border around your veggie patch. Apparently snails and slugs won’t cross this border and your lettuces will remain your property! The mum in law has confirmed this rumour, who’s a veggie garden enthusiast.
8. Bones. Had a roast chook? Lamb shoulder? T Bone or farmer’s cutlet? Ribs? Do not, I repeat do not throw away the bones – even if you’ve eaten from them. Pop said bones, rinsed, into a pot with some filtered water and stock veggies and leave overnight in a 120 celsius oven. Next morning you have a flavoursome, mineral rich power house to add to soups and sauces (reduce a cup for 20 minutes with a teaspoon of butter at the end, to make a delicious glaze). You can even drink by the cupful with a few drops of tamari or celtic sea salt. Divine. Ridiculously gentle and nourishing and if on the mend from chronic fatigue, gut issues or autoimmune disease, it’s honestly the best thing you can consume!
9. The water you’ve steamed veggies on top of / cooked veggies in. Cool it & drink it. Or add it to soups instead of plain water. Full of vitamins!
10. The spent fibres from veggie juicing. Make a quick stock out of it with some parsley, onion and thyme. Takes 30 seconds to whack in a pan. Leave on low for an hour. and strain, jar + freeze.
11. Bruised / over ripe fruit – Compote time! Pop in a pan with a few drops of stevia or a little drizzle of rice syrup, maple or honey and simmer with a pinch of your favourite sweet spice for 20 minutes. Serve warm over ice cream or yoghurt. Delicious!
If you have a large amount of food going to waste from a big wedding or corporate event, know your local food rescue program. Mine is OzHarvest and they’re the best, feeding millions of homeless people with perfectly good leftovers!
Please share your ideas & I shall keep this post updated as comments come in + of course credit you! We’ve been sharing ideas on facebook too. Come say hi! 🙂
Further reading / viewing…
http://www.ted.com/talks/tristram_stuart_the_global_food_waste_scandal.html… Great Ted Talk on global food wastage. Presented in a light yet impacting way.
A post I wrote on waste a while back that got some great traction and sharing – we clearly worry about wastage and awareness is the start of the solution! http://www.lowtoxlife.com/waste-not-want-not
Real Food. Less Waste. Happy Planet.