If you’ve ever dealt with food before, you’re well aware that not all parts of meat, fruits, and vegetables are edible. When we throw these, along with leftovers, these can be considered food waste. These either end up as compost, burnt away, or used in a myriad of recycling methods.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, however, almost a third of the food produced around the world gets wasted or lost. This amounts to 1.3-billion tonnes of food, of which countries such the United States alone cost $580 billion, with $310 billion for other developing countries.
However, before you throw your recent leftovers and food waste, did you know there are still ways some food waste can help you with your daily life? Here’s nine (9) food waste you can still use.
- Did you know you can add pulp to muffin? When you make juice in your squeezer, you’ll likely consider throwing the pulp away especially for picky eaters. However, did you know you can add the pulp to baked products to boost their natural sweetness and boost its fiber? You can do this to your muffins, for instance, by adding a cup of pulp for every 1.5 cup of flour you use for your recipe.
- Did you know you can still use cauliflower and broccoli stalks? It’s important to remember that broccoli and cauliflower stalks actually contain more fiber than their florets, which makes them quite the rich, creative, crunchy, and delicious alternative for greens you use for your dips. You can chops these stalks and make them into veggie nuggets, shred into slaw, or even spiral into noodles.
- Did you know melon rind is packed with nutrients? It appears all parts of a watermelon is useful, even its rind! In fact, the rind is totally edible and has a lot of Vitamin C, along with other nutrients that can boost your immunity along with other things. You can cut the rind into chunks or add it into stir fries. You can even pickle them to add that new zing to your salads.
- Did you know fruit scraps make good smoothies? If you think fruit scraps have to be thrown away after making the fruits into juice, then you’re wasting a lot of valuable and delicious goodness you can add to your plate. If for instance you cut up melon or pineapple for salads, you’re likely going to get odd bits you won’t use. Try to keep those in the fridge to lock in the nutrients and add them to a banana and vegetable mix when blended, so you can create a healthy smoothie in the process.
- Did you know you can use near-spoiled fruits when baking? If you want to save some valuable time and money when it comes to baking, perhaps you should use fruits that are nearing their expiration for your muffins, cakes, and breads. Citrus can do a great job livening up baked products, which can be acquired much better in fruits that are overripe and nearing spoilage. A good example is a brown banana, as they’re much sugary and can therefore add a fruity sweetness to baked products.
- Did you know you can make bruised apples into a compote? Bruised apples are sometimes unsightly, and we certainly don’t want to eat our apples when we don’t feel comfortable eating them. If you don’t want to eat them the old fashioned way, you can chop the parts that aren’t badly bruised and add even the slightest bit of brown sugar and cinnamon. In turn, you can just add a little water and let it simmer in a saucepan until it gets thick, and you’ll have a compote – perfect to side with grilled meat or oatmeal.
- Did you know citrus peels work on everything? Citrus fruit peels pack just as much punch as the fruits they hold inside them, and you can use them in a wide variety of ways. For instance, citrus zest can be stored in zip-top bags and be placed in freezers until you need them. You can grate them over sandwiches, salads, or cooked grains to add that zesty punch with fiber and antioxidants, and you can add them to smoothies.
The Bottomline: A Unique Take On Food Waste
If you’ve ever wanted to start a path towards green or eco-living but couldn’t quite understand what you need to do in order to begin – perhaps learning about using the food waste above is a good start. The thing about green living isn’t always about “not using something,” or “using this instead of that,” but rather finding ways to make sure everything we’re using is actually used in a way that maximizes the benefits it offers. This is why a lot of “alternative” products tend to be made out of material that are durable and last longer, as these tend to be much cheaper to produce and safer for the environment compared to conventional means.
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