What a Waste

When you eat gluten free, dairy free, sugar and salt free, the first thing to improve is your waist, now let me show you how to avoid waste: as in food waste.
As much as I LOVE hearing: “Look at your waist!” I HATE saying: “What a waste”!

If you are stocking your kitchen with fresh food chances are that you are throwing out some of that fresh food because it’s no longer eatable. I absolutely hate food waste and over the years I have developed some good2eat4U tricks to using fresh food and keeping everything fresh flowing through my kitchens.

According to a food-industry supermarket retailers newsletter that I subscribe to these are some cold hard facts to consider: One billion people in the world go to bed hungry every night while 2/3rd of the food bought by western societies are thrown away. That is just shocking to me! But here is the breakdown:

50% of salad ingredients are thrown out: my suggestion? Don’t buy bagged salads: 68% of greens that are bought in bags are thrown out. Markets bag items that are not exactly peaking with fresher items to minimize their financial loss and decay spreads onto fresh items like wile fire. As they say: “One bad apple will spoil the whole bunch….girl….”(thank you Motown).

25% of fresh fruit and vegetables become garbage: Bananas and Apples are the most wasted fruits. Are bananas one of those items that you pick up every week and forget about until the fruit flies show up? Where do those flies come from, are the eggs in the bananas when you buy them? Are they so small that they come though the smallest screen when they smell bananas? Well, here are a few recipes for extremely ripe banana to keep those flies away:
• Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is great.

Rich satisfying and really good2eat4U morning, noon, night or snack time.

Rich satisfying and really good2eat4U morning, noon, night or snack time.

• The FluffernutellaPpie recipe: Fluffernutella Recipe
Banana, Cocoa, Avocado, Honey filling on an almond meal crust with a vegan agave marshmallow top!

Banana, Cocoa, Avocado, Honey filling on an almond meal crust with a vegan agave marshmallow top!

• My favorite pancakes: Banana Pancake Recipe

Keep in mind that apples have a season: and that season is NOW! Don’t even bother to buy apples in the summer, those apples are covered in wax and die and bruises and have been sitting in warehouses for months, since the fall actually.

20% of bread and bakery good are tossed out. Suggestion: freeze them. Freezing the Fluffernutella Pie Featured Recipe this month brought it to a whole other level of frozen deliciousness, I froze it with the marshmallow topping and I take it out of the freezer a half hour before I’m going to eat it and it is divinely good2eat4U. Better than an Ice Cream Sunday, similar flavor and enjoyment with no calories that my body can’t turn into really great energy.

10% of meat and poultry products are wasted, easy solution: buy in bulk and freeze in serving sizes so that the servings defrost quickly and you pull out just what you need. Once cooked they last a week longer, so another alternative is even if you’re not going to eat it all today, grill it all and re-use it later or freeze it (raw or cooked). BTW a great way to get really thin slices of protein is to freeze it for an hour and then slice it works on steak, fish and chicken.

10% of milk and dairy products go bad, and there really is nothing worse. HEY~ I have lists for non-dairy on the site: Replacements

Where does your food supply fall in those figures? Let’s be mindful of the food we waste and try to make use of everything we take in. Here are more tips to getting the least waste from your food.

Don’t go shopping hungry
, the tendency is that the shopper that does will buy more food than they need, and I’ll add more likely to buy food that they’ve never had before, IN FACT A HUNGRY SHOPPER WILL BUY ALMOST ANYTHING, it’s a little like shoppers that begin holiday shopping on Christmas Eve or at noon on Chanukah. Eat up some left-overs while you check your refrigerator before you go shopping and then shop to fill in the blanks, plan your meals around what you already have and cook those meals first.

Be aware of the fact that special sales on fruits and vegetables and salads are usually because they’re not really fresh. Try to buy loose fruit and vegetables that you can inspect all sides of instead of bagged items, there are always a few rotting ones in the bags and that rot spreads like wild fire. Packaging labels and mixed greens can hide a lot of failing freshness.

Check the use-by-date and reach for the back of shelves for the fresher items, this is a trick you should use on your kitchen shelves as well, rotate stock buy and place new in the back: use-first in the front.

If you use organic produce and proteins, without preservatives, freeze what you’re not going to use in the first 3 days of purchasing them, some items I blanch first (like greens). Defrost overnight and be sure to cook them within 24 hours of their being defrosted, they’ll last another 5 days in the refrigerator once cooked.

Soups are a great revival for things that aren’t ummmmmm peaking?, boiling kills bacteria and sometimes the flavor is stronger on items fully ripened (shall we say?).

My personal favorite tip: Buy new potatoes by the big bags and steam a weeks worth in a pasta pot with a basket insert, steaming suspends bacterial growth and decay and is an amazing short cut to baked, fried, sautéed, grilled, potato salad, Nicoise, stuffed, mashed and smashed, soup or chips.

There are many ways to avoid food waste and the best one I know for children (who really don’t care that there are children starving in some exotic part of the world) is making food with them like: http://www.letsplaywithfood.com.

Elaine b Good
Personal Chef

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