Did you know that “roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.” It is a sad reality. But I am convinced that if we all take responsibility for the waste our own households produce, this can change pretty quickly. Let me share with you some of the ways my family reduces our food waste….
1. Casseroles, soups or broths, they all can be made using leftover pieces from other dishes and veggie scraps. Bit of ingenuity and a heap teaspoon of Pinterest (or a quick look at this website) and you can seriously reduce food waste (saving some $$ in the process too…)
Here we have some turkey bones that were left after making turkey nuggets for the kids, some leek tops, which in most kitchens are thrown away and veggies that all had passed their prime.
Perfect for a warming bowl of homemade broth!
Just package it, add your seasonings and freeze for when you are ready to throw it all in a slow cooker.
Brilliant, delicious and nutritious!
2. Free seeds. Yes, you read it correctly!
Use the produce you bought to kick start your garden (like those tiny garlic cloves too small for the press that nobody has patience to peel). Seeds from peppers, squashes and tomatoes are all free plants for you the next season. And don’t even get me started on garlic, which I love to pieces (literally)! My last season’s crop lasted until the end of January and I put that *** on EVERYTHING! So once you grow those plants, you can continue collecting seeds for truly free veggies in the years to come!
NOTE OF CAUTION: I recommend using seed varieties from produce grown locally, as those are best acclimatized to your area and not only will produce better, but are better for the ecosystem as well. And if you happen to have too many, you can organize a seed swap or connect with your local library to see if they have seed exchange program.
3. Stale bread? Breadcrumbs!
All you need is a food processor and that dry bread can regain it’s glory in your next creation that calls for breadcrumbs. I honestly cannot remember last time I bought breadcrumbs from a store.
4. Celery, spring onions, lettuces, cilantro…
There are many vegetables and herbs that simply like to come back to life, even if cut. Like celery or spring onions – you bring home a bunch, you cut back the tops and stalks on the outside and you can place the remaining roots in water or some soil so they continue to grow! Ingenious, if you ask me.
5. Compost it.
Finally if there is nothing else that can be done to the scraps, just start your pile. If you are a gardener, you know how much of a difference this “black gold” makes. When I first started my garden I mainly used compost bought from the city’s supplies and only to boost my lawn (now I think it was a silly idea, because there is really no tangible value from having a beautiful lawn except for aesthetics and neighbours’ envy, which definitely doesn’t feed my family!). Each season I did it, my neighbour’s apple tree got very, very happy bearing more than enough fruits for both families.
So finally decided to start my own compost and I have to tell you, it was one of the best ideas I’ve ever had. Not only it makes use of kitchen scraps that cannot be utilized otherwise, but it keeps my garden healthy and productive. Just look at this…
And if you do not have a green thumb or you do not own a garden (which I think is a poor excuse, since you can grow things indoors and on balconies) or simply you cannot be bothered with dirt ’cause you just had your manicure done (ok, totally get that!) here is a reason why you should be nice to your neighbour or friend who IS a gardener: you can contribute to their garden and in return you can enjoy some of the produce, if he/she’s kind enough to share.
Happy scrap saving!