I Love food, hate waste: how to eat your scraps

Posted on October 19th, 2012

OK. Brace yourself. I’m fired up. I’m an ambassador for the International Love Food Hate Waste program and I’m going to be doing a series of posts that I truly hope will get as many of you as possible thinking about how much respect you have for food and the work and life and carbon miles and water and…. you get the drift… that goes into having it in our lives. I’ll say it not for the last time: wasting food is inexcusable. Period. Check out these facts:

Image via www.veryshortlist.com

In Australia alone, we buy $7.8 billion per year of food we don’t use.

Households are throwing more than $1000 – or 585kg – worth of food into the garbage each year.

In America, getting food to our tables eats up 10 percent of the total energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S. land, and swallows 80 percent of freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten.

And then this: discarded food rotting in landfill gives off methane 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust.

It’s a disgrace. There’s no excuse for it. None. I’m not going to get all “think about the starving kids in Africa” on you. Because the issue is more fundamental. It’s just plain wrong to waste. Anything. And if you care about food in any way, then I personally and very passionately feel you have to give a shit about this.

Anyone who knows me knows the extent I go to to not waste food. I won’t leave the house to travel interstate without using up every last scrap. I juice things, soup things. My freezer is full of par-cooked vegetables. I’ll go to friends’ houses and cook their scraps or about-to-turn vegetables for them.

You can catch up on the clever ways I go about not wasting food here and here.

The European Parliament has resolved to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2020. The Love Food Hate Waste program has been conducted over the past five years and 53 of the leading UK food retailers and brands have adopted a resolution to reduce waste in their own operations, as well as upstream and downstream in the supply chain. In just five years, avoidable household food waste in the United Kingdom has been reduced 18 percent. British tv chef and beer expert personality Richard Fox is active supporter of the Defra-backed Love Food Hate Waste campaign. He’s here in Australia right now to spread the word here…so  I got him to share some basic food saving tips (they’re pretty clever):

  • Coat left-over pasta with a drizzle of olive oil to avoid it forming into a solid, unusable block. Either re-heat in simmering water, or keep adding random bits of leftovers for an ever-evolving pasta salad.
  • Store salad leaves in a container lined with damp absorbent kitchen paper, place more damp paper over the top, cover with cling film or a lid and store in the fridge.
  • Wrap herbs in damp absorbent kitchen paper, and then cling film for days, if not weeks of perfect herb life.
  • With left-over white bread, cut off the crusts (and blitz into breadcrumbs), roll out with a rolling pin, cut into discs and line a muffin tin; season and drizzle over oil and bake until lightly coloured for free edible vessels for party food.
  • Combine left over broccoli, peas or beans with a spoonful of crushed potatoes, some tinned tuna mixed with mayo, a little lemon juice and herbs; form into patties and then coat in flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs and pan fry for delicious fish cakes.
  • Use squidgy, soft tomatoes for making delicious Italian Passatta sauce with onion, tomato puree, garlic and herbs.
  • Make delicious pasties with left over roast dinner by chopping and mixing all the leftovers together with a little gravy and encasing in encasing in short crust pastry before baking.

I also like this idea for using up leftover herbs: make a quick compound butter.

And these ideas for using up leftover wine (that half a glass left in the bottle that’s gone all tomato-sauce-lid-rank).

And these ideas for using orange peels.

If you’re keen to see Richard demonstrate what to do with leftovers, check out this event.

  •  Tuesday October 23
  • 6-8pm
  • at Kitchen by Mike
  • $80pp, with profits going to OzHarvest
  • tickets available here

Fired up about the issue too? Feel free to vent below…

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Jazziefizzle

    Great tips! There is nothing I hate more than seeing fresh produce go to waste! The main thing that goes in our fridge before I get to it is salad leaves, yet I like having them around for an easy salad…

    I find the best way to combat waste is to meal plan or at least have an idea in my head of what I will do with each vegetable. I will also throw anything that is gettinga bit less fresh into juice (eg. Capsicums or cucumbers that are no longer crisp) and if I rarely feel the need to peel a sweet potato I will pop the peels under the grill for tasty chips.

    Can’t wait to see more tips that you come up with! Whata great cause!

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    Emma Reply:

    Perfect timing, I’m going to the USA tomorrow and a have a few veggies in the fridge that I know I won’t use before I go but I didn’t want to throw out and wasn’t really sure what I could do with, I hadn’t even thought of freezing them!!! Thanks for the tip! Now I’ll have veggies to come home to as well :)

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    Emma Reply:

    Oops, this was meant to be to the whole post, not the comment! Sorry

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  • Chloe

    Thanks for this great post Sarah!! I’ve actually been kept awake feeling anxious at night about food turning bad in the fridge… I hate nothing more than food waste. But I also love thinking up new ways to use what’s on hand to create something delicious. Glad you’re associated with this initiative x

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I lie awake too, usually mapping out how I’m going to cook the veggies!

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  • Ellie

    I am a massive offender in this regards. Will plan meals and then by Thursday give up cooking and have sushi leaving a bunch of leftover vegies.

    I would like to reform. Maybe I will buy my husband a ticket? :)

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  • http://www.thelifeshemade.com Kristy@thelifeshemade

    Sarah, you’re probably already three steps ahead of me, but a few months ago I read the most eye opening story about food waste. Whilst I agree that we can personally all do what we can to reduce our own wastage at home, the waste that occurs at a farming/supermarket level is astronomical. Read about it in this article by Not Quite Nigella. http://www.notquitenigella.com/2012/04/16/food-bank/

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    I hadn’t seen that post and it’s soooooo good. You’ve given me an idea… thank you!

    [Reply]

    K Reply:

    Kristy, thanks heaps for the link. I hadn’t seen that post either.

    Gosh, everyone needs to read that article – the waste is just incredible.
    I had been wondering why watermelon wasn’t as good as it used to be…and why it is hard to find Australian garlic these days.

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  • http://www.africanaussie.blogspot.com Africanaussie

    that is something close to my heart. I am so glad it is coming into the light. so many people say – “Oh I don’t eat leftovers” My hubby and I love to make enough dinner for a couple of nights and some lunches. I must try the paper towel idea with those bagged greens which seem to go off so quickly. One tip I heard and which works well is to rinse strawberries in a light vinegar solution as soon as you bring them home- they don’t go mouldy.

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    love that tip for strawberries

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    Kay Reply:

    Best to use apple cider vinegar or even raspberry vinegar. Delicious.

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    Emily Reply:

    When you fruit and veg home from the shops, put some water in the sink or a bowl with a good splash of vinegar and soak everything (except mushrooms of course) in the water for ten minutes. It will kill off mould spores which make things spoil and will also help remove residues of herb- and pesticides.

    Personally I think the best way to reduce waste is grow your own! Even the tinest apartment can have some potted herbs and cut-and-come-again lettuces and greens growing on a windowsill or balcony. If you have a garden, compost and get a couple of chooks as well to eat scraps and give you delicious healthy fresh eggs!

  • Liesbeth

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for this great post, my mum and I are so passionate about wasting less – we love our worm farm for that. But I do have one question – Before my last trip I par cooked all my kale and carrots, and froze in a reusable lunch box (full to the brim). When I ate them last night I steamed them straight from frozen and they were TERRIBLE. The carrot was this weird consistency of soggy/hard, and the kale all chewy….

    Do you have any tips on how you freeze and reuse your veg – I must have gone wrong somewhere!

    [Reply]

    Gemma Reply:

    Hi Liesbeth,

    I can’t speak for Sarah but having previously frozen cooked vegetables of my own, I can tell you that the key is to defrost first!

    Once the veggies are defrosted, a quick steam should do the trick. They don’t have the consistency of fresh but they’re better than nothing.

    If you’re in a hurry, put some warm water in the bottom of your kitchen sink and pop the container in. The veggies should defrost quickly and then you can simply run hot water into the partially filled sink when it’s time to wash up!

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  • Michelle

    Great tips, thanks!

    I have a suggestion for avoiding wasting celery (may work for other things, I haven’t tested it yet). I avoided buying celery because it always went limp before I could eat it, but I found a way to keep it fresh for literally weeks!

    I wrap it in foil. Simple as that. First I trim the leaves (and add to a juice or salad) then I wrap it in baking paper first because I don’t like foil touching my food. Then I wrap the whole thing in foil, pop it in the crisper and it lasts for weeks.

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    Steph Reply:

    Great tip!

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    Kirsty Reply:

    You can also chop up celery and store in a container covered with water in the fridge. Keeps the celery crisp and reduces the need for foil.

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  • http://www.clarelancaster.com/blog Clare

    Love this topic Sarah!! When I moved to London (and went car-free) the way my husband and I bought food changed – no more loading up a weekly shop into the boot of the car.

    We rarely had anything more than a day or two worth of food in the fridge and would use everything up before we bought any more.

    Now we’re back in Australia we’re keeping the same habits – our fridge looks a bit bare but we are not wasting anything, being more creative with our meals and saving money too!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    loved your newsletter today CL x

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    Clare Reply:

    thanks! was fun making it!

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  • http://dogrosehealing.com.au Kelly

    I’m passionate on the topic of not letting any food scrap go to landfill.
    We used to use a Bokashi bin for our food scraps that we couldn’t compost. We would fill a bokashi bin a week! It was an eye-opening exercise on just how much food we used to throw out. With kids you can’t guarantee what they will eat and you need to prepare a meal for them regardless.
    We then got 4 ISA Brown hens. We no longer need to use the Bokashi at all! They make quick work of our scraps and provide us ‘fertiliser’ and fresh truly free-range eggs as payment.
    This is off the track from the actual food wastage(and using scraps), but I would love to see a scheme where food scraps are collected and taken to a composting site which is ‘run’ by chickens and the eggs collected to benefit the community. There is a setup like this in the US. Vermont Compost Company: http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/A+Paradigm+Shift.html

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    Hi Kelly,

    Thank you for sharing the reference above – found it really, really interesting. As you mentioned with small kids it seems sometimes like no matter what I cook more often than not the majority seems to go uneaten …my chooks are a god-send. They eat most scraps, provide materials for my compost and good proper eggs that look and taste the way they should,are a cheap, nutritious source of food for a family on a budget, entertain the kids and have their own personalities goddamit! (sorry i sound a bit obsessed).

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    Tess Reply:

    My golden retriever is my scrap devourer…. Except for lettuce and spinach, he spits those right back out on the floor. But that makes them pre-composted I guess.

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  • Sandie

    Thank you so much for the info on storing salad leaves and herbs.
    My secret with bread, I buy kamut or spelt (from Baz & Shaz at Suffolk Park or the Green Garage), is to slice at least half and freeze in 2 slice portions. Makes wonderful toast. No more stale bread.
    There is no such thing as leftovers, it is called cascading.
    You cook enough of part or all of the meal for the next night. Time and energy saver.
    Thanks for your generous sharing,
    Sandie

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    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    i do the same with bread x

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  • Sandie

    Nearly forgot, Tupperware do a great celery keeper, although probably any suitably sized container would do.
    Sandie

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  • http://jen@bluecaravan.net jen

    Hey Sarah, love this post. We also try very hard in this department – and are fortunate enough to be able to buy fresh food most days on the way home from work. This way we don’t have (once) fabulous organic greens dying next to the (post-glorious) heirloom carrots in the crisper. My elderly parents who came from an impoverished european village still NEVER let food get to the throw away stage – as they intimately lived the arduous process of getting the stuff on the table in the first place. Food waste is tragic and such an alarming indication of just how disconnected we can be with the basic principals of… life!

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  • Mia Bluegirl

    I actually find the best way to avoid waste is to be really boring. I have really similar meals every day and find this way I know exactly what I have, and food rarely goes off. Most dinners are veggies plus meat.

    Also, my “throw things in a pan with olive oil and garlic” method of vegetable cooking works a treat with items that are a bit squishy. Black bananas are great in a smoothie, etc.

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    tracy Reply:

    Mia Bluegirl I’m ther with you – I LOVE repetitive eating my similar meals that are a hotch-potch of remnants – I must be the most boring eater in the world but love every minute of it!

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  • http://www.yoginime.wordpress.com Michelle

    Leftover wine??? that’s just CRAZY.

    But I store my veggies in a container lined with kitchen paper in the veggie crisper – they keep sooo much longer!

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  • josy adames

    Hi Sarah.
    Great post. A couple of weeks ago I did the Hornsby Council run “love food hate waste” program at Pennant Hills. It was a great 2 night course where we cooked quick meals and learnt about waste and how to use up our food. It was free but worth so much. I am now composting, using up that leftover beetroot by blending with garlic, chickpeas, lemon and olive oil to make beetroot hummous, making soups/smoothies/pestoes with leftover veges and herbs and really watching portion size (not cooking all the meat I buy but freezing in smaller portions).
    We meal plan, check our fridge and pantry before heading to shops and use up fresh food even if we don’t always feel like it. We are growing herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes and chillies. I feel much more aware now and if anyone sees this course run, do it!

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    That is very inspiring!! Do you have details for the course still?

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    josy Reply:

    The handbook I received from the course has the healthy-kids.com.au website (Healthy Kids Association), the lovefoodhatewaste.nsw.gov.au website and the hornsby.nsw.gov.au website. I signed up for the course as they were doing cooking demonstrations at the Bushland Shire Festival (Fagan Park, Galston) in September or October that we went to. What started as an excuse to get out of the house (I have young kids) turned in to something that I found really interesting!

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    Alexx Reply:

    how awesome!

  • http://Happyhealthyhome.com.au Jasmine

    Yes! I started a new blog about 6 weeks ago and this was the topic of my first post. I went out and bought a worm farm but found that at the start, it can only deal with about one day’s worth of our vege scraps.

    I would LOVE to have chickens to handle more of our scraps, also for the eggs. But our block just isn’t wide enough to fit them anywhere… One day! Til then we save scraps in the freezer to chuck in the stock pot when making bone broth.

    We try to plan our meals out for the week and shop accordingly. I find that if I do all the prep when i bring the fresh stuff in to the house, more of the food gets used and less goes to waste. It also gets rid of the “couldn’t be f***ed, lets just get take away” factor as well.

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  • http://the-labyrinth.com Michellina Van Loder

    I keep all my zucchinis, cucumbers, and salad leaves in their own PBA free plastic containers lined with tea-towels, which I change every few days (I also wipe out any moisture or residue on the lid and sides). For the cucumbers and zucchinis, I wipe moisture from them when I change the tea-towels.

    I have problems with moulds, so I have to be extra fussy about making things last, and I HATE throwing things out. So I have a system now.

    Please, Sara, do tell: what to you do with the fat of the top of the chicken stock recipe you posted a while back? And is there something I can do/make with veggies that have been in the pot for hours that are usually thrown out?

    [Reply]

    Sarah Wilson

    Sarah WilsonSarah Wilson Reply:

    the fat – def use again for frying things. Meat fat is the safest cooking fat. What do you mean by veggies in pot for hours? You mean they’re overcooked?

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    Michellina Van Loder Reply:

    Okay so the fat I’ll put in the freezer for later.

    Yes, veggies are overcooked. Last night I made your http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2012/03/how-to-make-chicken-stock-and-my-mums-chicken-soup/ and cooked for 4-five hours. The veggies are the only part that looks not edible (and the bones).

    If I cooked the bones for longer, would they dissolve or be soft enough to eat?

    I want the goodness of these bone soups but I have to cook outside as I can’t have anything too stinky because I get inflammation in my airways after exposures to perfume/solvent/petro based things. This chicken one has been my first (and it was yum!). Are there other bone soups that are not stinky to make?

    Thank you, your blog is a wealth of information…

    [Reply]

    Kirsten Reply:

    Hiya,
    Not sure if this is ok or not..I live in the bush in NZ, I burn my bones in the woodstove in winter. Haven’t come up with a solution for summer bones yet. Feed the ‘mush’ to my chooks. Nice website, I’m passionate about waste reduction, so wonderful random find…

  • Terry

    Thanks for the tips

    Curious abt yr views on Dumpster Diving…

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  • Gemma

    This is a fantastic post! Here are my two cents worth…

    I nanny/cook/organise/housekeep for a family of 6 and spent a few days organising so that now they have 4 folders of seasonal recipes with a fortnightly meal plan (allowing for two ‘whatever’/eat out meals) based on seasonal produce.

    The meal plans are designed to use up leftovers (roast chicken one night, shredded chicken and rice the next) and based around being able to cook and freeze/fridge a few meals in advance so that very little dinner prep is required 3 days per week.

    Each folder also contains a fortnightly shopping list, complete with items to be bought fresh and items to be bought in bulk. The meal plans are extremely varied, but we cut and freeze veggies which makes cooking quicker and also ends up wasting less.

    Whenever veggies are getting a bit dodgy, I make up a big soup and freeze in portions in re-usable snap lock bags for quick dinners. I also use scraps of veggies to make homemade stocks which I freeze in ice cube trays.

    I also use the stalks of broccoli and other bits of veggies that the kids won’t eat to finely grate into a bolognese sauce which gets frozen for yet another quick dinner – the kids love it and it is full of hidden veggies.

    For things like leftover quinoa – I make a chocolate cake using raw honey or rice malt syrup if we’re feeling sugar free – it is a gluten-free, high-protein, sugar-free and most importantly nut-free cake that the kids love and can take to school (nut free).

    Any leftover fruit gets chopped up and frozen and made into muffins for school lunches. Same goes for fruit peel (a lot of kids won’t eat apple skin etc).

    Leftover salad leaves & herbs get made into pesto (the only really obvious greens, besides peas, that the kids will willingly eat).

    Leftovers (usually veggies) get mixed into quinoa (a big pre-cooked batch that sits in the fridge) with tinned salmon and some avocado, all dressed with oil & lemon juice makes a super-yummy lunch for mum & dad (extra helpful because it is very rare that they would have time to sit down and make/eat lunch).

    I know this was a very long post, but all this organizing only took a few hours here and there and saves a huge amount of time and money, as well as being very sustainable. As well as making life easier and quicker there is the peace of mind of knowing that your kids are eating that little bit healthier.

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    toni Reply:

    Wow that is all just awesome! I have nanny envy!

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    seeker Reply:

    as well as being totally amazing!! if you’re ever looking for a job in sydney – please get in touch!!! you sound like a true gem, gemma!! :)

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  • Fiona

    I am so inspired by all of this !! I have that awful guilt every Tuesday morning (bin day) when I fill up the the tidy bin with the soggy mouldy icky ‘things’ from the fridge I forgot about. I tried, to buy less – then I don’t have the things to make what I need! Definitely feeling I can make an improvement now. This and Food Miles are constantly on my mind now. Funny how you can live so long without any consideration .. then it feels like it whacks you across the back of the head.

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  • Jo

    My friends all think I am mad, but I can make 1/2 rotten stuff look and taste amazing (this morning was stir-fried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach). Why WOULD you throw food out? HOWEVER – CLING WRAP??? Bad, bad, bad……..a life without throwaway plastic is something we should all be aspiring to! I reckon a roll of cling wrap would last me 2-3 years..(and it’s usually bought if camping when I don’t have storage options)

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  • jessica

    Hi Sarah

    I am fortunate enough to own a thermomix which I use to turn all my sad and soggy vegetables into home made preservative free vegetable stock. I store the stock in a glass jar in the freezer and because of all the salt it doesn’t freeze solid so is easy to spoon out as needed and lasts 6 months.

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  • Dez

    Thanks Sarah, a great post about a major issue! We are small scale organic veg farmers & some tops tips from us towards avoiding food waste are 1)Buy as fresh as you can e.g. at farmers’ markets…customers are constantly commenting how well their vegies are keeping! This is because the stallholders at authentic farmers’ markets typically harvest their produce within 24 hours or so of the market date…much of the food you buy in shops (organic or otherwise) has travelled many miles & has been in & out of cold storage etc 2) Store it properly at home e.g. in airtight containers or continually recycled plastic bags. 3) Remove leaves from root veg (& store their edible leaves seperately), carrots, beets, radishes etc, as the leaves keep drawing moisture & nutrients out of the root, making them rubbery – your veg will keep far better for longer. 4) Washing some veg such as celery, lettuce & other leafy greens & spin drying leaves in a lettuce spinner before storing in airitights or bags helps hugely. Also, re food waste on farms, I think people would find that organic farms either compost &/or feed their valuable waste to their animals, because we believe what comes out of your land to produce food must be replaced within it too! So, one other way to minimise food waste is to purchase sustainably grown food in the first place :).

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  • http://www.alexxstuart.com Alexx

    I just love that you are championing this. Fab post. I got my lil’ community onto a crazy idea I had on Monday that we could reach 100 things to do with scraps… We’re doing pretty well but sure there are way more ideas out there! One learns so much from all the nifty things everyone does at home! http://alexxstuart.com/the-scraps-you-were-going-to-throw-out I am totally OCD about food waste. It’s like a switch that turns on one day… Also I suggest a ‘shame list’ on fridge to keep on toes! Works for us :)

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  • http://www.thenaturalfoodie.org Kirsty

    Hi Sarah, great post and great to see that you are SO passionate about food waste. I am too. However, I am also passionate about landfill and using paper towel and cling film to keep veggies fresher longer in the fridge will have detrimental effects on landfill. It would be good if you could include tips that don’t contribute to such bad practices. As mentioned above, using damp teatowels is a much friendlier option for the environment!

    It’s shocking how much food goes to waste in households each day, but what is more disturbing is the commercial industry food wastage… I can’t help but feel distraught about the millions of food products thrown out each and every night by big chain stores like Coles & Woolies. They don’t even allow staff to buy or take these foods home for free, despite them being thrown out at closing. Government policy around this would reduce food wastage ten fold!

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  • VE

    I make soup with all the squishy veggies and add any limp herbs. If we can’t eat the soup then and there I freeze it in portion size containers and take it to work for lunch.
    I also chop up herbs and freeze them, freeze peeled bananas to use in muffins and boil and freeze oranges to use in orange cake, see recipe:
    http://www.lovefood.com/guide/recipes/11389/claudia-rodens-orange-and-almond-cake

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  • Ange

    Thanks for this post Sarah – I do this, I am this – I hate throwing food away, I keep all my veggie scraps and egg shells for composting (I live in an apartment but I feed my friends compost heap – in return I get free and fresh kale/spinach and other delightful greens from the garden) I tend to only buy fruit and veg from the markets and don’t they last?? I have worked out that I can stretch it out to 3-4 weeks between visits and that saves me money. Love getting creative towards the end of the time when things are starting to thin out and get a bit bendy. I also grow herbs and salad greens on my balcony, so no issues with sogginess and waste there!
    At about 5pm on a Sunday my local Woolies brings out boxes of soggy, wilted produce that are about to be ditched. While I usually get my F&V from the markets I’ve been there at times grabbing other groceries and have made some fabulous (and massive) $2 pots of ratatouille from slightly spongy eggplants, zucchini, capsicum and cherry tomatoes that I’ve found digging through the pile. And the looks you get!!! from the other shoppers as they grab their spotless ‘picture perfect’ veggies. More fool them!

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  • http://www.rachphillips.com rachael

    Great post! I’m so passionate about this subject. I bought a composter a few years ago and have been obsessed ever since.

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  • Rachael allanah

    Thank you. I needed this wake up call and I will put in more effort to not be wasteful.

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  • Hayley Smith

    Great article :) Thank you for the tip on storing herbs I’ve been wondering how to do this properly for ages as generally mine go soggy after a couple of days.

    One thing we discovered is fresh & crisp bags you can get from the supermarket http://www.gelpack.com.au/FRESH%20%26%20CRISP/HTML%20pages/Fresh%20%26%20Crisp%20Home.html
    They really work and veggies last so much longer in the fridge in them which is great if you have alot you don’t want to use up all at once.

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  • Beth

    Left overs? Has never been a word in our house!

    Bubble & squeak, omlettes, soups, stews and smoothies.

    Glad to see this getting some air play!

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  • Stacey

    Thanks so much for this post Sarah!! My top tip for using leftovers including cooked meat and veg or veg-about-to-turn is fried rice! You can put anything in fried rice and it always tastes great. That, or an omelette. Quick and easy dinners with no waste! And all credit goes to my mum who lived in much leaner times when she was younger. She would totally tell us off for not eating every bit of meat off the bone. Which reminds me – it’s really important and respectful to try and use/eat every single part of the (organically raised) animal – not just the pretty bits! One easy way is to use bones for soup / jook / stock.

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  • Kay

    Love this post! I hate throwing out food, but whatever does need to go out ends up in my compost so the worms are grateful! But, re. WINE – freeze any leftovers, especially white wine. It doesn’t freeze completely, but enough to store for ages then you can add it to whatever you’re cooking at a later date. Or thaw part or all of it for a well-earned half glass while you’re cooking! Enjoy!

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  • http://www.producetothepeopletasmania.com.au Lope

    There is actually a lot of politics behind a lot of food waste. Much of it is about relationships. For sure dig deeper to see what you can find out, but also please remember there are many organisations working in this field already doing a fab job.
    There are also good samaritan laws in place that allow for the collection of produce from businesses by NFP organisations – it does vary from State to State.
    producetothepeopletasmania.com.au gathered 18,000 kilos of fresh locally grown produce in the past year and gave it to food insecure people in the NW Tassie community.
    There is A LOT of behind the scenes work that goes on. Discretion is very important to some of our relationships. There are so many generous people that give produce to us that for many reasons can not be publicised.
    It’s a tricky balance!

    [Reply]

  • tracy

    I bought (when on sale) some large red, rectangular plastic storage containers from one of the supermarkets. They have a white plastic grill/ grate in the base. I’ve found these are excellent for storing my vegies in – I pour some water in up to the level of the grate/grill, put the vegies on top the the grate and they stay fresh for AGES in the fridge. It means I can do all my food prep for the week in one go, chopping and organising everything so when I get home from work it’s just a matter of grabbing whatever I want and cooking it up quick. Great time saver and as I’m pretty darn frugal and use up all my food remnants, it’s a great little way to operate. And it reduces my chances of slipping up on the days when I have the cbf’s about cooking and am inclined to either just not eat.

    [Reply]

  • tracy

    oops! meant to finish with “or get pizza!”

    [Reply]

  • http://organiccarehk.mionegroup.com Angie

    Hi Sarah, thanks for this very topical blog. I couldn’t agree with you more and since becoming a fan of your blog I too have implemented many of the using and freezing suggestions you have made in various posts. The statistics are frightening, shocking and avoidable. But I am concerned about Richards suggestions of using cling film or glad wrap to extend storage life of some items in the fridge, like herbs and salad leaves. Just as we try to keep good edible food out of the landfills so to should we be trying to reduce the use of plastic, which has far more severe and long term impacts on landfills, our environment, the marine environment and the future of mother earth. Here is a great graphic to highlight this latter concern. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=484268148260868&set=a.456449604376056.98921.367116489976035&type=1&theater

    So please discourage people from using single use plastic to store food.
    thanks
    Angie

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  • Danielle Rose

    I agree, i hate waste too. Since i got a Thermomix i have learnt alot more about how to turn leftovers into meals/snacks from scratch, I turn leftover porridge into muffins, bread, pizza dough and to thicken soups. I use leftover vegetables to make a stock concentrate.

    I oten make meals out of random things from the fridge, its so much fun to make up recipes from leftovers!

    [Reply]

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  • http://toftsnummulite.blogspot.co.uk Nina

    Yes to all of it except that as you say wasting ANYTHING is a disaster, so let’s not use cling-film (ever) or paper towels to save food. Single-use disposable stuff like that is terrible, and I’d even say using cling-film is worse than wasting food because it’s plastic and it will never go away. So let’s use lids, or plates on top of bowls, and washable cloth napkins or tea-towels instead of kitchen paper. And eat roasted squash seeds!

    [Reply]

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  • kissmevodka

    I didn’t see “soup”! Eat the meat, use for casserole the next night, use for sandwiches. When down to the bone, use it to make stock and soup. THEN, compost that sucker!

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  • Kate

    I’d be a bit worried about herbs/leaves absorbing dioxins from wet kitchen paper. Plus, kitchen paper is a bit environmentally unfriendly of itself. Our grandparents managed fine without it.

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