Jamie Oliver has caused a bit of a kerfuffle over comments made in an interview with the Radio Times. Whilst trying to promote his new show he implied that the poor should think about eating stale bread.
Well, it’s not just the poor who should eat stale bread but all of us. We live in a country with an abundance of food and supermarket BOGOF’s and supersized packets mean that the majority of this food ends up in the bin.
According to Food Aware, every year in the UK, almost 18 million tonnes of food end up in landfill.
That’s just not cool.
Your mother probably said to you growing up that you had to finish your plate because there were kids in Africa who are starving and whilst she’s right, the issue is more basic than that. We’re living in an age where people are shunning essential kitchen skills, which would eliminate waste and see people eat a healthier diet.
Jamie Oliver also said in that interview that we should buy as we cook and whilst I agree, there are times when it’s wholly impractical. We need to start planning so that we buy just what we need – good for the environment – good for the purse.
Let’s look back to how our grandparents ate. I was lucky enough to grow up having my great grandparents around, they ate simple, basic, wholesome foods. They grew as much as they could in their garden and they used the local market for meat, fish and vegetables. The only waste that came out of that house was potato peelings.
But it WAS different back then, popping to the supermarket wasn’t so easy and not everything was shrink wrapped and kept in a semi frozen state or sold in massive packets.
So what if we started getting creative in the kitchen?
This is a topic that I want to cover in more depth over the next few weeks, those who know me, know that I’m passionate about living well for less. So just for now here are a few ways in which we can use our leftovers to eliminate waste and to save time (and money)…
• Don’t rely just on use by/sell by dates. You have eyes and a nose for a reason.Your food doesn’t just wake upon the day it’s supposed to expire and go bad. Sniff and look before ditching!
• Cook every part of the vegetable; for example the leaves on celery are great in soup and salads.
• If you buy things in bulk…cook in bulk. Best ready meals are the ones that you make and freeze yourself. YES it’s time consuming at the time but it’s worth it when you’re in front work late and want something quick to eat.
• If you’ve cooked too much pasta then just add a smidge of olive oil to stop it turning in to a inedible clump you can then the next day just reheat it in simmering water.
• Wrap herbs in damp absorbent kitchen paper, and then cling film – it keeps herbs fresh for weeks!
• Left over wine (I know, joke!) pour in to ice-cube tray and use for cooking.
• Stale bread? So long as it’s not mouldy you can whizz it up and use it for breadcrumbs or make something like a bread and butter pudding.
• Bubble and squeak
• Make random meals. Throw things together. Get creative.
• Make your own butters.
• Make soups. The best thing about soup is you can chuck anything in and then you can freeze it! Perfect for the winter months. Same with juices and smoothies.
The Kitchn has 75 tips for leftovers and ingredients you should check out.
I’ll stop there as like I say, I want to cover this in more detail but tell me, how do you feel about food waste? What tips do you have for not wasting food?
image via justine pocock