Environment Green Teasers

Green Teasers – June 8th

Vegetables
Written by The Green Team

For today’s Green Teaser I wanted to get folks thinking about waste. Food waste.

With claims that wasted food can be as high as 20%-40% any improvement on this can be helpful for both the environment AND our wallets.

Do you hesitate to buy fruits or vegetables that don’t look perfect? Remember perfection comes at a cost. Part of the reason crops are sprayed is because of our aversion to anything that doesn’t look just perfect. Make it a goal to stop and think about how you are going to incorporate that item into a meal. Is the flavour really going to be impacted by a bruise or a mark? Will it even be seen once it is cooked?

Are you getting your money’s worth from all of your produce purchases? In many cases I think we just chop off what we think of as the “usable part” and discard the rest. The roots, stalks and stems of many plants can provide substance and flavour and nutritional value. Try to start using more of your produce parts in soups, salads, sauces, and smoothies, before tossing the trimmings into the compost pail.

S-t-r-e-t-c-h your efforts by making things that can cover more than one meal. A double batch of chili, one for tonight and one for the freezer. A big pot of sauce, works for spaghetti, pizza, lasagna. Our new food series Tales from A Pandemic Pantry by culinary expert Christine Cooper will give you lots of timely ideas. Check out the first issue in the series here.

Meal planning means less wasted food. Plan to use fresh ingredients like fruit and vegetables earliest in the week. If plans need to change you can also blanch and freeze them to use later on so you don’t lose them. Think about how to incorporate leftovers into a meal within a day or two to avoid them being tossed out later in the week. Registered dietician Angela Wallace offered us some great meal planning tips here.

My grandmother used to say “Waste not, want not” and I believe that expression really relates in this instance. Happy cooking!

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The Green Team

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