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MWG #7 - Minimal Waste Guide

MWG #7 – Minimal Waste Guide @Home – Kitchen Edition II

Food waste is a problem that has a lot of potential. The worlds food waste counts a worth of 550.000.000.000 euros and one quarter of all waste food could feed the 795 undernourished people around the globe who suffer from hunger. This means we can save lives and money by giving food waste more attention. Luckily great initiatives such as Too Good To Go and Taste Before You Waste have come to be here in Amsterdam. However, we as consumers can also adapt changes in our lives to contribute to the prevention of waste. In this blogpost you will find tips and tricks on how to cook smarter and getting the most out of the products you buy. This way money will be saved and more food will be eaten. Double win!



Vegetables are delicious and healthy, though many times not used to their full potential. Broccoli stalks, for example, get cut off most of time, while it is full of nutrients and vitamins. Just slice of the outer skin and drop the rest of it in the pan. The same counts for pumpkin seeds. We spend a lot of money on them for our morning granola, but forget about them for our diner. Here’s the tip: scrape the seeds out the pumpkin, rinse, and add them to a pan without oil. Optionally is to add some salt for a nice flavor and here you have a nice topping for your meal.

Some leaves we eat, some leaves we don’t. However not all leaves are justly rejected. Cauliflower leaves for example, are great for crunchy bites as a side dish. Carrot & beet leaves, packed with vitamin A & C, dietary fiber, calcium and iron, provide a nice garnishing for your salads and soups. The same counts for celery leaves, that can also be added to the stew for an extra flavor boost.

Using it all

Furthermore, we can state that skins get peeled off too quickly. It goes without saying that potatoes nor carrots need peeling, but surprisingly kiwis are edible with skin too. You wouldn’t expect that, taking its hairy skin into account, however by eating it all you feed yourself with more nutrients and saving yourself the hassle of scraping the skins with a spoon. The leftover of a watermelon piece also has forgotten potential. The green part that’s left on the skin after eating the melon, appears to be a great addition to your salad.

Old bread? Put garlic, olive oil, pepper, salt and paprika spices together and drain the bread in this little mix. Lay the pieces on a plate and put it in the oven on a heat of 180 - 200 celcius. Maximum of 10 minutes will do and there you go, you have a nice snack or apperative for your diner.

Some parts of the vegetables are inedible, the skin of a union, for example or its ends. Though, they can still offer you something. Collect the union scraps and other food scrapes in your freezer. Once you’ve collected enough, put them in a pan and cover it with water. Bring to water to a boil and let it stir for 30 minutes. Next is to remove the scrapes from the water and there you have it: your homemade vegetable stock.

Little tips

Are you preparing a pasta sauce from scratch or a nice curry, using tomatoes from cans? Get the maximum out of this product by pouring water in the empty can, stir it around and add the leftover mix to your pan for extra tomato juice.

Also, if Parmesan cheese is added to your sauces for flavor, make sure to put the rind in the pasta sauce and let it stir in. This way your sauce will get extra tasty.

Left over oil in a jar? Use the tasteful oil as a salad dressing or a cooking oil for your vegetables.

Did your spinach get mushy? Pop it in the freezer and it will restain its nutrients and taste. After you can put it in a curry or a smoothie. The same counts for fresh herbs such as basil, cilantro or parsley. If you can't use it all in time before it turns bad, make sure to freeze them and use at any other preferable moment.

Right storage

The right storage is an important part of preventing food from going to waste. The better food is stored, the longer the lifespan. Here is a short list on the right storage of some products. Keep in mind to store like with like, so apples with apples and bananas with bananas. Some vegetables or fruits give off gases that can cause others to deteriorate.

Here a link to the full list.

Room temperature

Paprika, courgetti, eggplant, pumpkin, onions, mangos, melons, ginger

Ripe on the counter, store in the fridge later

Avocado’s, apples, kiwi, nectarines, peaches, pears, plums, plumcots

Cool dark place

Garlic & Potatoes (don’t store potatoes with unions, they will both spoil together faster)

To close this blogpost, we would like to inform you about a nice initiative called the VoedselKringloop. This is a voluntary organization in New West that picks up food from the Albert Heijn & the Food Center. After sorting it out it is made available to anyone who enjoys free food. Interested? Visit the shops from Thursday till Saturday from 16:00 -18:00 at the KasKantine. Do you have good additonal tips to this post? Let us now on our Instagram @UvaGreenOffice and we will mention it in the next kitchen edition. Have a nice week!

Photo credits in respective order: Dane Deaner, Blair Fraser, Conger Design, Melissa Cravitz, Ja-Ma

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