Food waste needn’t be wasted
We’re a wasteful lot. New Zealanders throw out a prodigious amount of uneaten food each year.
According to the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park website, the average New Zealand household throws away 79 kilos of food a year worth $563. Nationally this adds up to 122,547 tonnes of food, or $872 million annually. That’s enough to feed 262,917 people or twice the population of Dunedin for a year.
If you’re a gardener however, that food wastage should be about zero, depending of course on on various factors, such as whether you have pets, chickens or a worm farm.
Chickens dispose of vegetable scraps and also some garden weeds. In return, they lay eggs and deposit high quality garden fertiliser.
Vegetable scraps not suitable for chickens can be given to the worms. Avoid feeding worms lemon or citrus skins because these are acidic and they do noo like an acid environment.
From the scraps, the worm farm produces worm pee along with vermicasts, as well as providing populations of worms for use in raised gardens and for container plants.
If you have dogs, use a tumbler compost bin to process their droppings and add any green material not suitable for chickens along with a good batch of tiger worms.
Mixed with garden lime, and covered with compost, this manure material can be used in raised gardens, especially for heavy feeding plants such as silverbeet and pumpkins.
An older method for processing food scraps is to dig a trench across your vegetable garden to about two spade depths, Tip any food scraps into it and lightly cover with soil. Keep on until the trench is filled, cover and dig a new trench.
Keep trenching over every part of the garden to enrich the whole plot.
In addition, treat the soil with Rok Solid, Mycorrcin and Magic Botanic Liquid and also apply Wallys Calcium & Health.
Avoid irrigating with chlorinated water, using man-made fertilisers or chemical sprays and herbicides.
A recent study has found that organic milk and organic meat contain around 50 per cent more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids than conventionally produced products.
This goes some way towards increasing our intake of these nutritionally important fatty acids, according to research published in Science Daily.
The largest study of its kind from the United Kingdom’s Newcastle University, found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.
Previously, numerous studies have been done comparing conventionally (chemically) grown produce to organically (non-chemically) grown produce, finding only slightly in favour of organics or nothing ‘significantly different’ between the two.
The new findings suggest that switching to organically grown food would help improve intakes of these important nutrients, and that they could possibly be applied to any organically grown produce.
If you have to throw food away, recycle it via a worm farm, chicken run, compost trench or heap to enrich garden soils, which ultimately increase the nutrient content of home-grown food.