Updated: Jul 14, 2021
【Skin on, always】
It’s time to take a step back and put the peeler down. You might be surprised how many types of vegetable and fruit we spend time peeling, when we really don’t have to. Beetroot, squash, potatoes, carrots, and even bananas taste just as good, if not better, with skins on. For example, banana peel can be enjoyed in hot drinks. You can prepare a soothing tea by boiling it in water, then serve with milk or sweeten to taste as with other teas. You can even add banana peel to hot chocolate or a cup of coffee for a distinct flavour. The truth of the matter is that we often just peel things because that’s what we’re “used” to doing. So save yourself the trouble and time and go skin on.
【Save your scraps】
We admit there are some parts of your vegetables that can’t be cooked and eaten directly. But that doesn’t mean they need to go in the compost. For every meal you make, throw all the organic waste into a container and pop it in the freezer – vegetable peelings, onion skin, carrot tops, mushroom stalks and herb stems – you name it and it can probably go in. At the end of the week, empty all that you’ve saved into a heavy bottomed pan, season with salt and cover with plenty of water. A bay leaf or two and some turmeric is also a nice edition, but not essential. Then bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and let it simmer away for a few hours.
【Or regrow them】
Want to flex your green thumb? Instead of making a stock, some vegetable scraps can be regrown into delicious produce in your own home with a little help from some sunshine, water and a little TLC. Spring onion, lettuce and herbs are a few examples of veg that can be regrown, providing you with delicious produce from scraps you might have otherwise thrown away.
【Eat what’s already been grown】
It’s easy to do your bit for food waste in your own kitchen, but how do you make an impact at a farm level? That’s where Oddbox comes in. Our weekly rescue mission brings delicious “too odd” or “too many” fruit and veg directly from farms to homes across London, the south and the Midlands later this month. This is the stuff that’s deemed “too big”, “too ugly”, the “wrong” colour, or “not needed” by supermarkets, and would otherwise go to waste.
【A use for avocado skins】
Want a quirky hack to make the most of your avocado skin? We’ve found they work very nicely as plant pots. It might sound strange, but their natural shape makes them the perfect size for windowsill pots to grow other veggies and plants. Simply pack with compost and add the seedlings.
See a best-before or sell-by date on your produce? Ignore it. These don’t tell you that food is unsafe to eat – they are simply used by shopkeepers to tell them when to rotate their stock and are only an estimation of the freshness of your food. It’s the use-by date you need to take seriously. The Food Standards Agency recently found that 50 per cent of people don’t always check the use-by date on food that could be dangerous to eat after a certain time – so don’t ignore this.
【Instead, smell it, touch it, look at it】
Instead of relying on arbitrary best-before dates, we’re big fans of letting our senses tell us whether food should still be eaten. Smell it, feel it, look at it – maybe even have a small taste. While erring on the side of caution, using common sense to determine what can still be eaten helps keep food waste down.