Waste not, want not. So goes an old saying that can pertain to nearly any situation–it’s certainly relevant as far as food is concerned. Being wasteful is nothing new.
Everybody’s guilty of it at some point in their lives. With the world’s population growing the way it is, people can’t afford to let anything go to waste, particularly food.
Even if there’s not enough food after you’ve eaten to make a meal from the leftovers, there are ways to recycle food scraps. Following are a few examples.
1. Use the Leftover Meat
Most people have some type of meat as part of their meal. It is a staple of their diet. No matter how much you may like steak or ham, there is bound to be a little left over when you’ve finished your meal.
Even if it’s a very small amount, you shouldn’t just throw it away. There are many uses for small bits of meat. If you have hamburger one night, and roast the next, you should save the scraps.
After a few meals the amount of meat you’ve stashed away could be used for a nice stew. Just add a few potatoes, some carrots, and a few seasonings and you have another savory meal. It has the added advantage of saving a few bucks because you used meat you may have normally discarded.
2. What to Do with Potato Chip Crumbs
When you get to the bottom of a bag of potato chips, there is invariably a layer of crushed pieces that are simply too much trouble to try to eat.
Don’t just throw those crumbs away. Instead you could use them as breading for meat or topping for a casserole. You may have to dip them in egg or flour for use as a batter to coat chicken or some other meat, but it will allow you to make use of the chips instead of tossing them in the trash.
3. Don’t Throw that ‘Dated’ Bread Away
Some people like to eat a lot of sandwiches. They rarely throw bread away, because it’s used before the expiration date. But what about those people who only eat a slice of bread now and then? Buying an entire loaf of bread could mean wasting half of it.
Instead of throwing away the ‘dated’ bread, either break it up or cut it into small cubes. Brush on a little olive oil and garlic, and pop it in the oven. It makes great croutons for your salad. Another use for ‘dated’ bread is to keep the entire slice in one piece, but again brush it with olive oil and garlic, then bake it. The heat seals in the flavors and you’ve recycled the old bread instead of throwing it away.
4. Salad Greens Can be Reused
When you finish your meal, you probably toss whatever is left of your salad into the garbage, because after all, who wants to eat leftover lettuce?
Instead of throwing those salad greens away, try saving them, along with your leftover meat, and putting them in a stew. You can also use the greens for a stir fry meal. The leftover salad dressing will add a little flavor.
5. Food Scraps Make Great Compost
Old food scraps make great compost. In fact, there is no better way to make a natural fertilizer for your garden than to add food scraps to a compost bin.
Composting is nothing new. People have been doing it for years. In fact, it has become a cottage industry for some people. If you don’t use compost yourself, or know anyone in your immediate vicinity that does, you could start your own composting center and sell to those who either don’t have the time to make their own, or who don’t have room to do it.
You may be surprised at how many people may be willing to buy compost.
6. Make a Deal with a Farmer
Another way to make use of your food scraps is to make a deal with a local farmer. They may be able to use the leftover food as feed for their animals. You may be able to trade your food scraps for a dozen eggs or some corn on the cob.
7. Find an Organic Waste Recycling Plant
If you don’t want to save your own food scraps as compost, you could always try to make a connection with someone who does. Many people like to use composted material on their gardens, and may be willing to take your scraps off your hands.
Some communities have organic waste recycling plants. You could save your scraps until you have enough to make the trip worthwhile.
Guest post from Payton Price.