3 Tips for Less Food Waste
Let’s dive in today and talk about food waste. When you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables you’re bound to have lots of scraps after preparing your meals. While some of those scraps can’t be used for anything edible, some can. Let’s investigate how we can get the most out of our fresh fruits and veggies, and what we can do with the inedible scraps.
Eat What You Can
Beets are gorgeous and are lovely when roasted with salt, pepper, and olive oil (or “smoked”), but what are you doing with the leaves and the stems? Did you know that you can sauté the leaves in a pan with some garlic, onion and lemon juice as you would with spinach? Or that you could throw some of those leaves into your morning smoothie or lunchtime salad? Beet greens are so tasty!
Turn Scraps Into Stock
What about those parsley or cilantro stems? Or those carrot and potato peels? Or the ends of those beets you cut up to roast?
Most of your veggie ends or stems can be used to make stock. I talk more about it in my post here but start saving things like kale and herb stems to add to you stock collection. Ends of onions, garlic, carrots, and many other vegetables will finally get their time to shine! Every one of these scraps will lend their own unique dimension to the final flavor profile of your stock.
There’s no way around it: you will still have waste when you are done making stock. However, all of the flavor and nutrients will be in your stock. That leads us to the final step, which explains the best and most sustainable way to dispose of your food waste.
Compost the Rest
You might be wondering why we should compost food scraps instead of throwing them into the garbage. I honestly didn’t know that much about composting until a few years ago, but the more I learned, the more determined I was to compost whenever possible.
When food scraps sit in landfills with the rest of our garbage and do not get access to oxygen, they release methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that’s terrible for our environment. Under normal circumstances, food waste will break down and decompose, but this natural process is hindered in landfills.
Food compost is incredibly nutritious for your lawn, gardens, and even house plants. You may also be able to find a farm that will accept food scraps for compost if you live in an apartment (if you happen to live in Portland, Maine, or the surrounding towns, you have an amazing resource in Garbage to Garden! I’m still searching for a suitable option out here in LA so if you know of anything, I’d love to hear about it!)
How do you use all the parts of your produce? What are some steps that you are taking to make less food waste in our landfills? Please share your ideas and tell me what’s going on in your kitchen. Hearing from you inspires me to do more in my own home!