Thursday, September 27, 2018

Food You Throw Away

The numbers are anywhere from 40 to 50 % of food in the USA is wasted, thrown away before it gets to the consumer or after the consumer buys it.

Not only do we waste food by letting it go bad, we are picky about the shape and size and blemishes of food.

Besides that? We don't even know what is edible. We limit ourselves to only part of the food we buy.

The entire radish is edible, from the root to the leaves to the flowers and even the green seed pods. Save the mature ones for sprouts in the winter when produce is expensive.

Pumpkins are versatile, too. Not only the flesh of the pumpkin is edible, but the seeds are good roasted and the leaves are edible and nutritious.

Broccoli stems and leaves are often thrown out, but they're good food, raw or cooked, just like broccoli.

Cauliflower is the same. Peel tough stems.

If you grow a garden, you have probably tossed a ton of dried bean pods. They make a good nutritious tea.

Mature Okra seeds can be dried and cooked just like beans.

Corn silk makes a great tea.

Winter squash like butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash, have seeds that are great when toasted like pumpkin seeds.

Scrub potatoes before peeling, toss the peels with olive oil and a little salt and bake them to a crisp. They taste kind of like potato chips but better.

If you make pies, don't throw out the leftover bits of pie crust. Roll it out, spread a little butter on it and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 350 until lightly browned, just a few minutes.

Put back bread scraps and crumbs to make bread pudding or use in stuffings and so on. They will keep in the freezer until you need them. As each bread sack is emptied, I put the crumbs in a container in the freezer and it's amazing how fast they add up.

There are more. People didn't used to have such an abundance of food that they could toss what they didn't want. We should be so wise.


  1. I love your blog and I hope you will continue with it for a long time.

    I make bread crumbs from leftover bread all the time. I haven't bought any from the store in years. I make broth out of leftover chicken/turkey carcasses. I grow my own herbs for tea as well as for other recipes. I glean food that grows wild in our backyard -- blackberries, daylily flowers (eat like squash blossoms), grapes. black walnuts, etc.

  2. I just wanted to say you are so right! We waste so much food, especially produce. This is something that has been bothering me a lot lately. I have been trying to eat healthier and I end up making complicated food/recipes which use a lot of produce. Either I end up not liking it or get tired of making it and they sit and rot. I’m trying to streamline and make simple and basic things so there isn’t so much waste.

    I loved your tips about the potato skins. I always throw them out and now I’m not going to. Great tip. I love how you mentioned about the stems from broccoli and cauliflower. You can peel them and sauté them, pulse them in the food processor and make “rice” out of them. The loose leaves can be thrown in a salad (along with celery leaves)

    I get so excited when I see your name in my inbox. I’ve followed a few other frugal bloggers and their stuff isn’t that practical. I hate coupons and don’t care about sales lol. Just give me practical tips!! Lol

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!