Waste not, want not…

One of the week’s big news stories was the report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, that anywhere between 30 and 50% of the world’s food that is produced is wasted and never even reaches a human stomach.

Given the numbers of people now on the planet, and the fact that the population is growing at a staggering rate, this give both cause for concern and a ray of hope. There is currently much concern over how, as a global community, we are going to manage to feed the ever increasing numbers of hungry mouths, with talk of ever more intensive farming practices to increase productivity. Whilst these practices may well have their place in the quest to feed the world, they are inevitably hugely detrimental the health of the planet itself. If we could ensure that the issues surrounding such grotesque amounts of waste were addressed effectively, then we could easily feed ourselves, just at the current rates of production-couldn’t we? Or am I being naive?

According to the study,the issue affects all aspects of food production-right from farm to fork (or straight to bin in some cases).

A tractor. On a farm. Farming food.

A tractor. On a farm. Farming food.

Poor weather leads to poor harvests. Supermarkets claim that they can only sell ‘perfect’ fruit and veg, so the slightly odd looking carrots, and the small apples get discarded. Over-cautious best before and use-by dates mean that often perfectly good food is thrown away. And we, as consumers, are often guilty too, of wasting food, and throwing away things that can be perfectly well used.

Whilst we can have an opinion on all of the factors involved, and can lobby the politicians and the supermarkets to make the big changes needed to start improving the situation, it is where the chain ends, with us the consumer, that we can have the biggest impact.

Now I’m sure, that as readers of this blog, you are all well-versed in making the most of the your food. The theme of ‘Waste not, want not’ is after all closely linked of that of ‘Make Do and Mend’. But I thought I would share a few of my favourite ways of using up food, in a series of posts over the next couple of weeks.  Not just leftovers, but also the limp looking veg left in the fridge at the end of the week, or the slightly squidgy fruit mouldering away in the bowl!

The lime I used for the lime and coconut cake

The lime I used for the coconut and lime cake

We need to learn to love our leftovers, and the less than perfect looking veg, and the slightly soft and squishy fruit that is left at the end of the week, and all work together to stop food waste.

If you need some ideas (besides the wonderful ones I am planning to present to you, obviously..), check out the most excellent Love Food Hate Waste.

Karen Cannard (of Rubbish Diet fame) has done a great post on the issue, and the WI are also getting involved-this post here is from their Chair, Ruth Bond.

So no excuse to throw anything away again, ever…!!

Would love to hear your favourite recipes for your leftovers 🙂

14 thoughts on “Waste not, want not…

  1. At the end of most weks I make a big pan of ‘fridge’ soup, it varies from week to week depending on what veg I have in the fridge thats past its best. Then I freeze it in single portions (OH doesnt do soup) and I have lots of quick lunches for me. :o)

  2. We have a lot of animals so we’re often down the animal feed place. They sell huge nets of carrots (about 3 Kg) for £2.50. They are seconds, slightly less than perfect, but perfectly edible. We share them with the rabbits and guinea pigs. these are supermarket rejects.

    • I remember tucking into these when I used to help out at the local riding school! As you say, nothing wrong with them at all. Carrot soup all round!!

  3. One of my favourite things to do with old fruit is to put it into a loaf cake, banana or apple and raisin are the favourites.

    I whiz up the crusts from bread to freeze for later, sprinkle on top of pasta bakes with cheese to give a crunchy topping, for stuffing with a roast or coating chunks of chicken or fish for goujons.

    Cooked potatoes to make fried potatoes, fish cakes, bubble and squeek or put into an omelet.

    Left over soup – have as a warm lunch the day after or add to another meal as part of the sauce.

    So many ideas and they are all delicious!

    I often find that left overs taste even better than the first time round 🙂

  4. Pingback: Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #1 « My Make Do and Mend Year

  5. Pingback: Yummy yum yum… « My Make Do and Mend Year

  6. Pingback: Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #2 « My Make Do and Mend Year

  7. Pingback: Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #3 « My Make Do and Mend Year

  8. Pingback: Waste not, want not-recipe ideas #4 | My Make Do and Mend Year

  9. Pingback: Stop food waste-recipe ideas #5 | My Make Do and Mend Year

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