Save Your Veggies: How To Reduce Produce & Food Waste

4 Mins Read

Food waste is a huge problem globally-over 30% of all food produced is wasted across the planet. Be part of the solution with our our useful ideas for how to make use of everything in your fridge and how to avoid food waste, especially the expensive produce kind.

Got herbs?

It’s happened to all of us: you need a few basil leaves to buy some basil to add to your pasta recipe, but you are forced to buy a bunch and before you know it, those scented leaves are covered in black spots…

  • If your herbs are going off, chop them up and put in them in olive oil filled ice cube trays.
  • Make a pesto with whatever leafy herbs you have lying around (parsley, basil, mint and cilantro all work here) by blending olive oil, garlic, salt and a nut of your choice (pine, brazil, cashew, almonds) in the food processor. Store in a glass jar with a layer of olive oil, keeps for up to a month.
  • If you want to buy herbs a few days in advance from when you need them, freeze them as soon as you get home in their packaging.

Did You Know? Food accounts for a third of all solid waste in Hong Kong. Click To Tweet

Vegetable Medley: What To Do With Lettuce & Leaves

There is nothing worse than spending time, money and effort on sourcing great ingredients for the fam, only to realize you have a drawer full of wilted organic kale!

  • Cruciferous veggies with stems that have lost their lustre (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, gai lan, bok choy) can be revived simply by trimming their stems and putting them in a short vase with cold water- in a couple of hours, they will be back to their bloomin’ selves!
  • Leafy greens without stems like arugula, lettuce and other more delicate leaves can be saved by soaking in a bowl of ice water (the water has to be extremely cold for this to work).
  • Ice water will also help turn your soft celery, carrots, cucumber and radishes crunchy again, but you need to add a slice of raw potato in the bowl as well.
  • Cook mushy veggies on the stove with homemade vegetable or chicken stock and then use a hand blender to make into a soup. You can freeze the soup in cubes for nights when you can’t be bothered to cook!

Did You Know? 3, 200 tonnes of food are sent to landfill every day.

Tutti Fruity – What To Do With Overripe Fruit

Soon to be overripe fruit has so many different uses:

  • Blend with any milk/nut mylk of your choice and make popsicles.
  • Cook on the stove with sweetener of your choice (not a sugar alcohol) and make your version of jam/jelly.
  • Freeze in smoothie friendly portions so that you can easily throw them into the blender when you need a morning boost!
  • Make fruit salad with fruit by adding  the juice of one lemon to cut up fruit- this will ensure the fruit does not keep ripening.

Did You Know? The volume of food waste in Hong Kong has doubled in the last 5 years. Click To Tweet

Get Organized: How To Make Your Fridge More Efficient

Save money and your precious time with these tips:

  • Have a list on your fridge of what’s in the fridge.
  • Never do a grocery shop without checking your fridge first.
  • Do a weekly shop for storable goods but buy fresh items like fruits and vegetable two to three times a week.
  • Plan your meals in advance based on what’s in the fridge instead of eating what you feel like spontaneously.
  • Measure your food when cooking and plan the recipe in exact portions according to how many people are eating.

Did You Know: The remaining capacities of Hong Kong’s three landfills will be exhausted in 2014, 2016 and 2018. Click To Tweet

Extra Food Waste Tips

  • Stale bread, cookies or anything containing flour (gluten free or otherwise) are great for turning into homemade croutons and breadcrumbs. Just dry out in the oven or dehydrator (or even in a frying pan on medium heat) and process into bite size chunks for croutons or into a fine powder for breadcrumbs.
  • If you are the type of family that ends up with a host of containers of leftover meals that don’t add up to one portion, try mixing them all together and use as a filling in a Spanish tortilla style omelette or as a base for a oven bake (just add breadcrumbs!).
  • Use glass: mason jars and other glass containers keep food fresh for much longer than the plastic kind. That’s right being eco is convenient too!

All food waste statistics quoted in this article are sourced from Feeding HK, a local NGO that works . 


Photo credit: Global Reactions via photopin cc.

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