Main photo Simon Peel, Unsplash
Aotearoa’s first Zero Food Waste Challenge is in full swing this week – food rescue organisations from across the country have come together to give us all the tips and tricks we need to fight food waste head-on.
Whether you’ve committed to the challenge or just want to dip your toes in, key challenge sponsor Countdown has pulled together tips from Kiwi celebs to help you on your Zero Food Waste Journey.
“I recently purchased a “The Swag” bag, which helps to keep your veggies fresher for longer in the fridge. It really works so I would totally recommend that (I’m not at all connected to the company, just a happy customer!).
“I also look at whatever fresh food I’ve got and google recipes with those ingredients. So if there’s an eggplant and some tofu languishing in the fridge, I’ll see what ‘eggplant and tofu’ recipes google has to offer me. It’s a great way to avoid having to throw out items that have gone too far, and also discover some new dishes and combinations of ingredients that you might not necessarily have thought of.”
“To reduce food waste at our whare, we turn leftovers into a toddler platter – she likes trying new things and doesn’t mind the random mix of flavours.”
“Use all your veggies that need to be eaten and make a soup or a vegetable scramble. This is my go-to when I have neglected some of the items in the fridge and don’t want to have any waste. If it doesn’t taste too flash I tend to add copious amounts of hot sauce on top!”
“Freeze everything! I spend a lot of time on the road, so my freezer becomes my best friend. Frozen bananas can be like ice cream, but my personal favourite things to freeze are grapes – they turn into a delicious natural sorbet! Things stay fresh for much longer in the freezer.”
“My top tip is saving fruit before it goes off! If those bananas are getting a little mushy, chop them up and chuck them in the freezer! They’re perfect for my favourite peanut butter and banana smoothie – and they keep the smoothie cold! Win-win!”
“We plan all our meals on the weekend – breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks – we plan and buy everything. It takes time to sit down and do, but it saves us a lot of money and we have far less food waste as I plan for the meals to use up everything by the next Sunday!”
“Firstly, as a recreational fisherman/fisherwoman, before you venture out ask yourself the question, how much fish do you actually need? If it’s just the two of you, not so much. If you are having a larger gathering then you will need a bit more. There is no point or anything good about catching your limit, only taking the fillets (and heaven forbid freezing them) and throwing a third of the edible fish left on the frames away”
“Use the whole fish, not just the pearly white fillets… The wings, the belly, the bones for stock (minus the gills) etc.
“Again, when purchasing fish, think about buying and cooking a whole fish. Easier on the wallet, a slower eating experience, visually stunning and zero wastage.”
“Use the skins of your fruit! I love my indoor plants, and banana water is great for them. Just soak the skins in water for 24 hours and pour it on your plants! Then the soaked bananas can just be dug into your garden.”
“Also save all your citrus rinds, you can infuse oils with them, or dry them out and blitz them to make a yummy dried zest powder you can use in cooking, smoothies or with yoghurt! The zest is so delicious in cooking and baking, I literally never throw them out!”
“I love my food to shapeshift, so I often make a big batch of tomato sauce at the beginning of the week and chuck in any old vegetables I have lying around. This stays in the fridge and can be used in many different ways. Over pasta, in a lasagne, in a bolognese or on a pizza.”
“My second tip is whenever we have a chicken and have eaten all the meat, I boil the bones and make a stock. Then I can use that stock and all its chickeny goodness as a base for a soup – or if I can be bothered and am feeling fancy – a risotto.”
If you missed the boat on the Zero Food Waste Challenge, never fear – you can still sign up for the free Zero Food Waste Pocket Guide. Or donate to your local food rescue charity by rounding up your shop at the Countdown Checkout.