The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE VERVE -

CLEAN­ING out the fridge of food that’s gone off is a thank­less chore that can leave you feel­ing guilty about how much you’ve wasted.

But an au­thor has re­vealed there is a way to re­duce the amount of food waste by show­ing how you can use up scraps and leftovers.

Ruth O’Rourke-Jones, of the new book My Zero-Waste Kitchen says with a few nifty tricks, you can avoid wast­ing the money you’ve spent on your gro­ceries.

From blend­ing wilted greens into smooth­ies and us­ing let­tuce heads to grow new plants, to us­ing a ripe ba­nana peel to keep meat moist in the oven, th­ese are the clever­est kitchen hacks to try next time you clear out. But while you might know that you can com­post veg­etable peel­ings, fruit waste and teabags, there are other items that you never thought to throw in your com­post bin, says Apart­ment Ther­apy, a life­style and in­te­rior de­sign com­mu­nity.

They in­clude cup­cake lin­ers, tis­sues and nap­kins, wine, beer, chew­ing gum and even card­board.

Crushed eggshells can be added as it can pro­vide the com­post with use­ful min­er­als.

There are guides on­line re­veal­ing all the items you can and can’t com­post.

But throw­ing away waste in the nor­mal bin should be a last re­sort only if you can’t com­post, re­cy­cle or re-use.

Food waste will break down at land­fill sites, but the waste will get com­pressed and pro­duce harm­ful meth­ane be­cause there won’t be any air pock­ets.

A com­post bin in the kitchen, how­ever, will con­tain air pock­ets and won’t pro­duce meth­ane so it’s bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment.

Most of us will throw out the head of let­tuce af­ter tear­ing off all the leaves but you can use the head to grow a whole new plant.

Sim­ply plant it in soil and wa­ter it and you should have a whole new head of let­tuce.

Ba­nana peels can be added to a bak­ing tray in the oven to help keep meat moist while it’s cook­ing.

Car­rot leaves and left­over pars­ley stalks can be used to make a sauce, or pesto.

Most of us know to save leftovers by freez­ing them for a quick and easy mid­week din­ner.

But there are plenty of other in­gre­di­ents you can freeze that might oth­er­wise get wasted.

Left­over cook­ing wine can be frozen in ice cube trays to use next time you make a dish, while root veg­eta­bles that are start­ing to go off can also be frozen as they can be made into soups.

If you know you’re not go­ing to be able to use food be­fore it goes off, the freezer can act as a pause but­ton and elim­i­nate waste.

Where you store your food in the fridge can also lengthen its life­span and pre­vent waste.

You should never put milk in the door of the fridge as it’s the warm­est part and it will go off quicker.

Condi­ments should go on the fridge door, while dairy prod­ucts should go on the top shelf as that’s the coolest part where the tem­per­a­ture is most sta­ble.

Meat should go on the mid­dle shelf, while salad and veg­eta­bles should go in the salad draw­ers. – Daily Mail

ON ICE: If you know you’re not go­ing to be able to use food be­fore it goes off, the freezer can act as a pause but­ton and elim­i­nate waste.

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