In the UK we throw away an incredible amount of food. The food industry wastes 1.9 million tonnes of food every year. That figure doesn't factor in household and consumer waste, either. We throw away fruit peels, broccoli stalks, meat bones, and ageing vegetables without thinking. However, other culinary cultures could help us cut down on this waste. Here are five international foods that can help you limit your waste.
A Korean staple, Kimchi is served with almost every meal and is somewhat akin to German sauerkraut. Though there are literally hundreds of different types of kimchi, they all involve fermentation and most utilise cabbage or Korean radishes. While Napa cabbage makes for the best kimchi, you can take any cabbage you're close to throwing out and have a go at making a whole heap of tang-tastic kimchi.
In Northern Mexico, they appreciate the whole avocado, even the stone. I mean, the flesh tastes amazing –doesn't it guacamole lovers? So the stone has got to be pretty good too, right? The pit is most commonly grated into enchilada sauce, which sounds absolutely incredible, but can also be used in a smoothie, to brew tea, and to prevent certain foods from spoiling. It's kind of a superfood in a superfood.
Banana Peel Thoran
Who eats banana peels? Banana peels always go in the bin – I hear you say. No, they don't. Rather than wasting all those skins, cook up a delicious South Indian banana peel thoran. If you're eating bananas throughout the day and want to save your peels but are worried, they'll brown, soak them in salted water and keep them covered in the fridge.
Gumbo is a Louisiana and New Orleans special. Think of it as an extremely tasty, thickened soup that’s hearty and wholesome beyond belief. A good gumbo is dependent on a good stock. In many cases, a good gumbo stock is dependent on chicken, turkey, or fish bones. So, don’t throw away your bones. Keep them. Keep them and make the best gumbo you’ve ever had.
A popular snack in Mexico, where they’re known as pepitas, roasted pumpkin seeds are nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare. Salt them, add a sprinkle of chilli, a little lime juice and some cumin, then roast them in the oven for roughly 5 minutes, and you've got a mouth-wateringly spicy snack.