Reducing food waste with our zero waste recipes and more
This week is Zero Waste Week, an annual campaign aiming to encourage us to reduce the amount of waste we produce.
According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), around 9.5 million tonnes of food and drink go to waste in the UK every year, 70% of which could be avoided. UK households alone are responsible for 6.6 million tonnes of food waste annually.
While even the organisers of Zero Waste Week admit that being 100% waste free is not a realistic goal, there are some relatively easy actions you can take to reduce the amount of food waste you produce.
1.Keep your veg fresh for longer
Storing your fruit and veg properly to make them last longer is probably the most obvious way to avoid wasting them. We have a handy guide with some useful fruit & veg storage tips, including which veg will keep out of the fridge, how to blanche and freeze vegetables and herbs, how to revive tired greens and more.
2.Use up all edible parts of your veg
Did you know you can eat cauliflower leaves? How about kohlrabi greens and carrot tops? We often discard perfectly edible, healthy and delicious parts of common vegetables out of pure habit, when in reality we could reduce our food waste by simply preparing them and eating them instead.
Kohlrabi greens are a big deal in Kashmir, where a less bulbous cultivar of kohlrabi is grown specifically for the greens. These are prepared and eaten like collard greens and are highly nutritious. We like them sautéed as a side dish or as part of a sauce, like in this vegan pasta recipe.
Cauliflower leaves can be turned into a variety of simple, delicious dishes, like this Middle Eastern inspired dish from chef Alan Rosenthal.
3.Last chance saloon recipes for using up nearly-expired produce
Even with the best intentions, produce can sometimes start to go off before we find use for it. Some recipes are specifically designed to help use up fruit and veg before they go off completely.
Bananas going soft? Banana bread!
Overwhelmed by aging root veg? Throw them all in a tray bake or turn them into vegetable stock to upgrade future soups and stews.
Leftover herbs can be easily turned into a yummy sauce with our salsa verde recipe.
Lettuce and other salad leaves end up in British bins more often than any other vegetable, but can be saved with the below recipe for surprising, refreshing soup – a big hit among the Crop Drop team this summer.
This light, refreshing soup is ideal for those days when you've got lots of salady bits to use up but you're not in the mood for a salad. To up your zero food waste game, pop your spring onion ends and lettuce stalks in a glass of water and you'll soon have a windowsill crop to pick from.
1 bunch of green or spring onions
4 potatoes (diced)
1 small fennel (sliced thinly)
2 lettuce heads plus any salad leaves you have to hand
1 bunch of herbs
Fry off a handful of spring onions in some butter and oil in a large pan, then add 4 diced potatoes, 1 small thinly sliced fennel and the roughly chopped lettuce. Add around a litre and a half of cold water and bring to a boil. For flavour, I added 2 tsp of organic bouillon and a handful of parsley. After simmering for a while (until the potatoes are cooked) blitz it all up and serve with plant-based cream.
Want to know more about all the waste reduction measures we’re taking here at Crop Drop?