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THE ART OF UPCYCLING FOOD: REDUCING WASTE AND NURTURING CREATIVE
The year is 2023 and food waste has gone from being something people whisper about to being a significant global issue. Upcycling food offers a sustainable and innovative solution, and it embraces the philosophy of using all of what you have. It involves taking food that might otherwise go to waste and turning them into something new and delicious. By adopting this practice, we can reduce waste, save money, and contribute to a more sustainable future.
I have a passion for combating world hunger and food upcycling is a great way to bridge the gap between food scarcity and hunger by making use of ingredients that might otherwise go to waste. On both a national and a global scale, 30% to 40% of food supply is wasted. This is devastating from a climate standpoint and a humanitarian perspective. So, how does upcycling work and where do you start?
Practical Tips for Upcycling Food:
- Start by adopting mindful shopping habits, focusing on purchasing only what you need.
- Get creative with your leftovers by transforming them into new meals or repurposing them as ingredients in other dishes. For example, vegetable peels and trimmings can be used to make vegetable broth or crisped up as nutritious snacks.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment and adapt recipes to incorporate what you have on hand; upcycling food can be fun, and it will stretch your culinary skills and awaken your imagination.
Inspiring Examples of Food Upcycling:
- Make your own master stock: Almost anything can be used to make stock- Carrot ends, celery butts, beef bones, or onion skins. All you have to do is save the food scraps and put them in the freezer to save for when you are ready to use them for your stock.
- Infuse beverages: Save your apple, orange, pear or any other fruit peels and cores. Add them to water or alcohol to create delicious flavours to ordinary drinks.
- Homemade pickles: Create a tangy pickle from kale stems, carrot peels, and Swiss chard stems. These food scraps are full of fibre and micronutrients.
- Broccoli stalks: These stalks can be dipped in panko and baked or air fried for the perfect substitute for fries.
Upcycling food presents a win-win situation for both our planet and our palates. By reducing food waste and harnessing our creativity, we can make a meaningful impact on the environment while enjoying innovative and delicious culinary experiences. Whether it’s repurposing leftovers, transforming scraps into mouth-watering meals, or finding new ways to utilise imperfect produce, every small step counts. So, let’s embrace the art of upcycling food, one delicious dish at a time, and work towards a more sustainable and flavourful future.