food waste and some roasted vegetables
We all do it at some point or another. I’m talking about food going to waste. I plead guilty.
I love vegetables so much that I sometimes overbuy, just because they’re beautiful.
I read recently that a UN study found that food waste contributes a volume of greenhouse gases larger than any country except China and the US.
An appalling 30% (or 1.3 billion tonnes) of our food goes to waste. This is both an environmental disaster and a moral one. But it isn’t just individuals that do it. It is our whole food supply chain that simply overproduces, just to throw it away. It is partly our obsession with perfection. Some vegetables don’t end up perfect, but downright ugly, and we reject them.
When there are hungry people in the world, this is all just so wrong.
Fortunately someone has come up with an answer to at least a small part of this industrial scale food waste.
I have the joy and privilege to do volunteer work for an organisation in Melbourne called FareShare. Fareshare takes donations of tonnes (yes really tonnes) of food a lot of which would otherwise be wasted. This is where some of the ugly carrots, the nearly at use by date food and the dinted cans end up. Close to one million meals a year are made from this ‘waste’. An army of volunteers and a handful of paid staff join together to cook it into meals for people who are hungry. I think this is just brilliant.
On a personal level, we can all do our bit too.
When confronted with a crisper full of vegetables that are starting to look a like they might not last, rather than toss them, roast them. Everything tastes delicious when roasted, even sub-standard produce. Just throw them into a preheated 180 degree C oven with some olive oil and salt. You can also add some herbs and spices if you like. I always use cumin with my cauliflower. Cook until they are tender and golden and a bit crispy.
A container of roasted vegetables in the fridge is a great starting point for a quick meal. You can toss them with pasta or couscous or make into a salad with some greens and chick peas.
So with goal of saving the planet, one meal at a time, roast those veg!