Zero Waste Cooking Is Helping Prevent Food Wastage

Zero Waste Cooking Is Helping Prevent Food Wastage

Let’s admit it, we easily discard vegetable stems and leaves into the bin. To be honest, that’s food waste that you can actually use. A quick Google search will result in umpteen recipes that prevent food waste. While on an individual scale it might seem like wasting remains, globally food wastage is increasingly a serious problem. 

The United Nations Environment Programme published its Food Waste Index Report 2021. The report states: around 931 million tonnes of food waste was produced globally in 2019. The major contribution (63 per cent) comes from households. “The figures might be easy to read and hard to digest but in reality even a single person starving means the food wastage exists on a national level”, says Shiv Shankar Sharma, technical director, Ministry of Food Processing Industries.  

India has been a top gamer in creating a food ruckus i.e.  irregularity in food availability. And the data proves it. About 50 kg of food is wasted per capita per year totaling to about 6.9 crore tonnes of food waste. “According to FAO, 18 crore people are undernourished either due to improper diet or lack of availability of food”, explains Sharma.

Put simply, if 6.9 crore tonnes of food waste is saved, then out of the 18 crore undernourished people, each will get 383kg of food per year. “If that doesn’t explain the wrath of food wastage, nothing else will”, remarks Sharma.

What’s The Solution?

“If you ask me for a solution for food wastage, all I’ll say is to go for recipes with minimum wastage or inventing new ones where you can utilise every part of a vegetable apart from the inedible ones”, says Prem Singh, executive chef at Hotel Clarks, Amer. What this means is utilising what we generally regard as food waste: the peels, leaves and even the roots of the vegetables. “How many of you cook potatoes with peels or beetroot with its leaves? Very few na?”, asks Singh. According to Reader’s Digest Canada, we should avoid peeling vegetables and fruits like potatoes, eggplants (baingan), kiwis, cucumbers and zucchini, as most of the nutrients are in the peels. And, this also prevents food wastage. 

“There are zero wastage recipes and there are recipes to reuse leftover food. All you have to do is add a little bit of oil, some tomatoes, a hint of coriander and Indian spices and your leftover food is now as fresh as ever”, concludes Singh, when asked how one can prevent producing too much food waste in a home-kitchen.

Try This Recipe To Prevent Food Waste

One common item which you can find in all the Indian food menus is roti or chapati. While most throw it away within a day or two, there’s something interesting which you can cook out of it  

Ingredients: Leftover chapatis, non-stick pan, butter, cheese cubes, tomato and red chilly sauce, capsicum, tomato and onions.

Method: 
– Take a non-stick pan and heat it on a medium flame. When hot, apply butter to it.
– Apply red chilli sauce, tomato sauce to the chapati. 
– Dice the capsicums, onions and tomatoes and place them over the chapatti.
– Grate a cheese cube and sprinkle it over the entire chapati.
– Carefully place the chapatti on the non-stick pan and cover the pan.
– Turn the flame to low and let the chapatti cook for half an hour.
– Enjoy your homemade chapati pizza.

Read more about how edible cutlery is reducing plastics.

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