It’s no secret that food waste is a huge problem in this country with a mind boggling 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in this country being tossed in the trash.
To stem the tide, more people are making it their mission to turn would-be trash into edible treasure… one household at a time.
Abby Steele prides herself on running a sustainable kitchen. “It does drive me crazy when I see people throwing away food,” she says.
Basically, if Abby buys it, she eats it – even food items some might consider scraps. Of course, most fruit leaves and veggies make it into smoothies, but Abby also uses things like carrot tops to spruce up her pesto.
And, when avocados get past their prime? Abby blends them with chocolate to make a mousse.
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, nutritionist and author of the book "Body Kindness," says that’s not all you can do with the nutrient-packed produce.
“When you have avocado and it’s about to go bad or there’s brown spots in it, you can actually take the avocado and use it in recipes, even your brownies. You won’t notice the color difference there.”
She says kiwi rinds make a great meat tenderizer, too.
And, don’t get us started on used coffee grounds. They can do everything from fertilize plants to deodorize the fridge. And, mixed with coconut oil, proponents say they make for a fantastic facial scrub. “I’m getting more creative with the products I’m using on my skin,” Abby says.
Wasting food is undoubtedly an environmental issue. Scritchfield says that, “We have more food in landfills than plastic or paper, and that contributes to global warming.”
But, it can also hit your wallet. The average family of four wastes an average $1,500 worth of food each year.
Abby believes sustainability makes sense all the way around. “I’m saving money and I’m making my food healthier and I’m having more fun.”
To help stretch your food scraps, experts say, first use what you have on hand; plan before shopping, and only buy what you need.