Food waste is a global epidemic that lands over 9 billion kilos of produce in the rubbish yearly. Some governments have started making changes to laws and regulations to reduce this but really, not enough is being done. The fact that so much of the waste is due to ‘ugly’ food (food not deemed ‘good looking’ enough to make it to the store shelf) is just mind blowing. Really, when did we, as a population, become so shallow?
At Juzcit, we are extremely mindful of the waste we produce. In fact, many juice companies get a bad rap because of pulp waste in particular. We do things differently. We use a lot of our pulp to make other products and the remaining is used for composting and for feeding our worm farm. We use a lot of our cardboard waste on our compost and worms and we use mainly glass bottles that are recycled.
Below are the Top 5 things that you can do to help reduce food waste.
Make a list and create a meal plan before going shopping. By not over-buying or buying unnecessarily you will use everything you buy and reduce the cost of your shopping bill.
Once you get your shopping home, prep and freeze as much as you can so that you prevent it from spoiling before you get to eat it. If you want to be healthy and happy, 90% of your shopping trolley should be made up of food that can go off within a few days. This means that 90% of the food you eat has not been processed or preserved. This can be difficult to manage for some as it means that you have to shop more often however, if you freeze what you can, prep your food as soon as you get home and store your food correctly, then you can still do a weekly or fortnightly shop without losing on the quality of your food.
Start Composting or support someone else’s compost
This can be very rewarding and can even be done indoors if you don’t have a yard; however, it may be impractical for some people. A way around this is to talk to friends and work colleges and see if anyone has a compost, worm farm or chicken coop that could use your food waste in a better way than land filling it.
Re-purpose your waste
In the Juzcit kitchen we repurpose a lot of our waste pulp by making things like Orange Peel Powder from our Orange rinds and Almond Meal from our Almond pulp. Some other great re-purposing tips are –
- Use vegetable peelings and/or meat bones to make your own stock
- Dry out excess fruits in a dehydrator (or oven on very low) to turn them into snacks
- Turn excess vegetables into a stew that can be frozen and eaten later, ferment them into a sauerkraut or pickle them.
There are food banks popping up all over the place these days. If you have excess food that is going to go to landfill, donate it instead. Feeding a hungry or less fortunate person is a way better outcome and it may give you a warm fuzzy feeling of doing good.
Below are some recipes and instructions for some of the above tips:
Lemon and Orange Peel Powder
Place orange or lemon peels spread out on a tray and dehydrate in an oven or dehydrator until they are totally hard. Blend in batches in a food processor and store in a sealed container. Use the powder in recipes to add flavour or create great home beauty products from them. My favourite is my Orange & Honey Face Scrub.
Orange & Honey Face Scrub
Mix equal parts orange peel powder and raw organic honey. Store in a sealed container in your shower. Apply a small amount to your face after wetting with warm water and massage in. Rinse off in shower.
This face scrub is great for exfoliating and for reducing skin blemishes or blotches.
How to compost
Collect fruit, vegetable, bread, egg (broken up), coffee and tea scraps in a container that you can store in the fridge or freezer. I use a big jug that I keep in the fridge and add scraps as I generate them.
Get 2 x 20Lt buckets with lids from your local hardware store. In one bucket keep ‘brown’ scraps (garden cuttings, cardboard, hay, lawn clippings). In the second bucket toss your collected kitchen waste (not meat, seafood or dairy) then top with a small handful from the brown bucket to cover. Place a layer of newspaper under the lid and seal.
Give the bucket a shake occasionally. Once full, leave to decompose shaking occasionally until the compost is a nice consistent colour and texture. Use on garden or as a potting mix.