The issue about food waste is going mainstream

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

meals from left over vegetable wasteThe issue about food waste is going mainstream but will the people listen and understand the message?

The i-News in the UK had a good article on the reuse – and not in the compost – of vegetable peelings for meals. As the article suggests, entitled “Meals from “Peels”. But it also includes the use of cabbage stalks, as in those from broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

I must say that I have never understood why people cut out the heart of a cabbage and toss it, or toss the stalks of broccoli, cauliflower and such. If all else fails, and you really have no ideas as to what to use them for, make vegetable stock.

Radish tops, tops of beets and other vegetables, including those of carrots, can be used but most people are not aware of this, are not adventurous enough or, possibly, even too lazy to think of how to use them. Much easier to cut the things off and throw them in the compost caddy and either put it on their own compost heap of leave it for the municipal food-waste kerbside collection.

Fact is that in many cases most nutrients are actually in the skin, the peelings. As far as potatoes go I rarely every peel them unless it is when making mash, or chips. In the case of mash only if I make a special kind; otherwise the skins also stay on.

Why anyone would actually peel carrots always beats me as well. A good and thorough scrub and into the pot they go. I find that they taste much better that way.

It is good to see that this issue has now been highlighted in the media such as the i-News but what we could do with, I think, is a small book that could educate people as to what can be reused from vegetables which, more often than not, is seen as waste by most, be this peelings or tops from beets, or stalks.

Such a book should be available, ideally, for free at supermarkets and other stores as well as for download from the Web. There are enough organizations, many of them NGOs, others government, that could do this or that could commission this.

Unfortunately today people do not have the wisdom of the grandparents who lived through the Great Depression and the World Wars and many people today, alas, cannot even cook from scratch, at least not without detailed instructions.

The article(s) in the media, with a couple of recipes, are a good start but we must do more to educate people that there is a lot of more that they can do with what they might consider as “waste”, such as peelings, tops, stalks, etc. Many will need ideas and recipes above that what the article (or couple of articles) have provide.

© 2017