Food waste is a big contributor to some of the world’s most pressing environmental and socioeconomic problems.
First-world nations waste a lot of food, tons of it, actually, throwing good portions of food scraps and waste into their trashcans, which end up in landfills. Food waste equates to wasted resources, be that waste attributable to the production and distribution of food or those resources used for its disposal. Likewise, food waste converts to methane as it decays, and methane is an incredibly un-friendly greenhouse gas. Wasted food means less food that may be donated to those who are hungry. Some of us do our best to try to help deal with less food waste, including composting or reusing scraps for regular household purposes (like deodorizing our garbage disposals). But, did you know that there are also some really good, delicious ways to reuse your food waste? Yes, there are. Read on for some really great tips to use food waste for food.
Infused vinegar, oil and cocktails – Use citrus peels to infuse flavor into vinegar. Add olive pits or leftover herbs to oils to enhance their flavor. Or, create your own cocktail mix by combining peels and rinds from citrus fruits with any clear liquor, and allow it to infuse in a cool, dry place. As well, you could use cucumber and herbs for liquor infusions.
Broths, sauces, soups, and slaw
Make a deliciously useful veggie broth from veggie scraps, like celery tops, onion and garlic skins, and carrot peels. Freeze the scraps until you have about 4 cups, then boil in water to make 2 cups of broth, straining the solids once finished (be sure to toss the solids in the compost bin!). You can also create a delicious pesto from the green tops of carrots and radishes by blending them with a little garlic and some nuts. One to try: carrot tops with macadamia nuts. Yum! Or, try making a veggie-based soup or vegetable slaw using the stems from broccoli or kale. -- We will be launching a summer tomato broth in July so keep your eyes out!
Brew some tea
Apple peels make a delicious tea, as do ginger, banana, and orange scraps. Add the scraps to boiling water with some honey, and let it steep for a few minutes. Tasty!
Use the ends of bread loaves and crusts from slices of bread to make breadcrumbs. And, combine cracker crumbs together to use for breading dishes or topping casseroles.
Do yourself and your world a favor and consider using your food waste for food. There are a good many options to try to reduce your carbon footprint while saving a little money, too. Experiment a little with some of the suggestions above and you might just find some new favorite recipes to add to your regular rotation! Or, grow your own food. You can grow a good number of new plants using the scraps from old ones. Avocado, basil, celery, garlic, hazelnuts, lemon, lettuce, pineapple, and tomatoes are just some of the many plants you can re-grow from food scraps.
We now have a kitchen sink burger to eliminate our food waste and working on more dishes to eliminate the OG's carbon footprint!
----- References (Accessed 6/13/17):
1. How To Use Food Scraps: 8 Ways To Reuse Leftover Foods. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/04/17/use-food-scraps_n_1432750.html.
2. 15 Ways You Can Reuse Food Scraps in the Kitchen. https://www.australianethical.com.au/news/15-ways-you-can-reuse-food-scraps-in-the-kitchen/.
3. Creative Ways to Reuse Kitchen Scraps. http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/creative-ways-to-reuse-kitchen-scraps/.
4. 27 Clever Ways to Reuse Food Scraps. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/ways-to-reuse-food-scraps.html.
5. 25 Foods You Can Re-Grow Yourself from Kitchen Scraps. http://www.diyncrafts.com/4732/repurpose/25-foods-can-re-grow-kitchen-scraps/1.