Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.
Do you know its been 211 years since the discovery of one of the brilliant methods to reduce waste? In fact, The year 1809 is when we discovered canning. We made cars drive themselves, A.I. controls your houses yet we haven’t shown that much curiosity in the food wastage. I mentioned about the hospitality industry where food waste is in massive amounts.
There are 2 categories in food waste.
- Pre-consumer food waste
- Post-consumer food waste
Pre-consumer food waste is basically food waste before consumption. Like peelings of fruits, vegetables, bones from the meat etc.
Post-consumer food waste is what remains on the plate after consumption. What we call “Left-overs”.
Edible food waste.
About edible food waste, this food waste is produced due to an excessive amount of prepared food. Also, the expired food items or random mistakes during food processing such as burning a fish or overcooking vegetables etc.
These edible food wastes are mainly in the establishments who offer buffet to their consumers.
I have seen many hotels and restaurants boasting about their unlimited buffets and offering several food items on their buffet. It looks more prosperous and attractive to the eyes. Well, the reality is the food for these buffets are in hundreds to thousands of kilos. This food waste accounts for 56% of total food waste created in these establishments.
There are many food items which many people don’t even touch. Like, pasta which is edible or salads which are just sitting on the counter. And they go bad due to overproducing. I have seen these things with my own eyes.
Also, many establishments contribute to the inedible food waste which counts eggshells, peels, shells etc. but one of my experience was to make perfectly round carrots for the salad bar. Moreover, we have to peel the carrots so that we get 2-3 round balls out of carrots wasting more than 80% of that perfectly well carrot. As a matter of fact, a la carte restaurants create less food waste than the places who offer a buffet.
Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
Food waste happens even during the sorting process in fruits and vegetables. Not to mention that all of us are so obsessed with the shape and colour of our food. Also, we won’t buy a slightly blackened banana or an off shaped apple in the market because we are being told that a banana must be yellow with no marks on it. Right? Well, try a banana with black spots on it tastes delicious. It tastes like tropical nectar. Use that off shaped apple to make salad dressings or a marinade for your pork belly. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
What if I tell you that you don’t need to throw away carrot peels, cucumber peels or even the watermelons white rind? Yes! Those carrot peels can be a delightful soup or a curry, cucumber peels can be dressing for your salad. And my favourite watermelon white flesh makes a good MOSTARDA (a northern Italian condiment made from candied fruits). or use the fresh coriander stems and roots to make a Thai curry or Makhani gravy for different curries.
“Respect for food is respect of life, for who we are and what we do”.- Chef Thomas Keller
Rethink food – https://www.rethinkfood.nyc/blog