One of the easiest, and most delicious ways to reduce food waste is to use ALL of the produce and proteins you buy. Best yet, it's the greatest way to recoup your costs! Want to know what I mean? Let's take a closer look...
This is an actual food waste reduction story- In the bucket are the "inedible" scraps from a day of kitchen production. In this case the company was using the bucket to measure the waste. This is everything from herb stems, carrot and potato peels, carrot tops, and vegetable ends.
I would often see this and think: why in the heck are we throwing this stuff away?? Let's get creative and innovative in the kitchen;' let's use them to create recipes or recipe components.
As you can see- I took the vegetable ends and created a pest. The carrot peels? A sauce. The herb ends and carrot tops? A chimichurri. In this way I was able to start looking in the bins more often to say Hold up! Let's use that for something!
Before I mentioned the cost recoup benefits too.
Not just Veggies: Think about what the cost of a brisket is. You pay by the pound, right? Now think about the fat you trim off of the beef, and the moisture (or juice) that you have left over when you cook it. There's a 25-30% loss and what you have left is what we call the "edible portion". Beef prices have skyrocketed too. So, you're paying a premium for something that you're throwing away 30% of potentially. Crazy right? Beyond this many companies have what are called secondary cuts of met- That's a great way to reduce cost and get innovative.
There's definitely a better way! Use the beef juice as a broth when appropriate. Sear and render the trim from the brisket in a pan and then add in the remaining juice , reduce and you've got a stellar A Ju. There's always a way use 100% of the food we purchase. (sometimes this is as easy as UpCycling* I'll cover that in a separate post!)
Whether you're a home cook, or in a professional kitchen you can employ these simple techniques by simply re thinking how we approach food prep. Look at the anatomy of a vegetable. There are numerous wasted opportunities for great food! Stem and trim Pesto's, pickled stem (think Swiss Chard, collards, kale, etc...) Use the beet greens in your salads. And the list goes on.