Today, let's talk about kitchen waste- specifically, food waste. There was a time when no-one recycled or composted. I remember throwing out empty cereal boxes, milk jugs, and carrot peelings because there was no other option for them. How exciting that we can make a difference now!
I was thinking about the definition of waste in Waste Reduction, and the concept of "deferred waste". When I cook most meals I start with a garlic and onion base. Into those savouries I usually add some celery, sweet peppers, tomatoes...it depends on what I'm cooking. Up until recently I would throw the bits I'd cut off into the garbage, or in the summer the compost bin. Now, however, unless it's moldy or goes off if exposed to air (like potatoes), I toss them into a freezer bag. When it's time to build a crock pot full of stock, a bag of vegetables gets added to the bones. Did you know you can actually cook with tomato leaves? At my next opportunity those will be added to my stock in small amounts. I think they'd impart a really good flavour.
My question for you to ponder today is the same one that I have been thinking about: what about deferred food waste? True, we are getting more nutrition out of our money by saving and using those bones and vegetable pieces, but does it really end up as less garbage in the land fill? Does it make a difference in the overall scheme of things? I don't know the answer, actually, and I don't know if there is a right or wrong answer to this question. What is your opinion?