Food waste, a huge and urgent topic if you ask me. Even though it’s not the biggest thing you can do to combat the climate crisis, I hear a lot about it around me about it. I think this is the case because it’s very visible but also because there are hundreds of tricks to reduce food waste. The motto? Just eat it. Even though I said that preventing food waste is not the biggest thing you can do to combat the climate crisis, that doesn’t mean that it’s not important. On the contrary! And so today I’m discussing a book that can help you with fighting food waste: Lekker Koken met Restjes by Daisy Scholte (a Dutch book).
I think food waste is strange. You know, strange. Throwing food away? What? Insane is maybe a better word than strange. However, that doesn’t mean it never happens to me. Sh*t happens, you know. Wasting food is very realistic. I am still not the best chef. A while back I also mentioned that I made terrible dish. So disgusting I had to throw it away. I just couldn’t eat it. I’m working on my skills haha. And just like with my cooking skills there are a lot of things we can work on to prevent food waste. Yes, my personal focus is with improving skills and learning tricks. I hope that is the case for most people. However, I know it’s not the main focus for everyone. I know a lot of people who throw away certain items all the time. The first and last slice of a bread for example. Or the peels of cucumber or potatoes. Or the steels of mushrooms. Why? I just don’t understand. I don’t want to shame anyone today but please. I. just. do. not. get. it. A third of all food produced globally is wasted. That’s throughout the entire supply chain (like the food we feed to livestock or food which is lost in production). The food wasted at homes is about 9% of the total food wasted. That’s still a lot!
Before I am going to talk about the book and tips and tricks to fight food waste at home I want to mention something else: 900 million people on this planet are hungry every day. 900 million. Let that sink in. We should always prevent food waste, let me make this clear. But the fact is that we can’t feed the entire world with our western diet. Producing animal protein takes waaaaay more land than producing plant-based protein. One meat-eater uses as much land for food production as 3-7 vegetarians or 12-20 vegans. We’d need 20 times less land if everybody followed a plant-based diet. So we don’t have too many people on this planet, we’re just choosing the wrong diet. If you really want to fix the food production problem on this planet you should go vegan. It’s cruel for your fellow human being to not be vegan. For the sake of food production, but also for the animals who suffer and to combat the climate crisis.
Where You Buy Food
What I also want to add is that it matters where you buy your food. Supermarkets are a big problem in the fight against food waste. In the documentary Just Eat It this became painfully apparent. Supermarkets like to give us perfect food. For example: if a cucumber is too crooked they will not buy it from the farmer, who then has to get of rid of these cucumbers. This is obviously insane. So, buy from local farmers! They are usually not that picky (and you can always ask them yourself) and will sell all their produce. This way you also support your local economy. This way your neighbor also makes a living instead of the multimillionaires behind Albert Heijn making another million. What’s also good to know: the European Union and the Dutch government are also a big part of the problem. They made laws that literally prohibit farmers to sell food that doesn’t meet specific standards (like when the produce is too small). Find out which political parties want to do something about this issue and consider voting for them.
Food Waste at Home
I am very passionate about the two problems I just described and I think they’re the biggest problems in the supply chain. However, that doesn’t mean that I find food waste at home unimportant. Not at all! And so, enough about the supply chain. Off to consumer food waste, us! Time to know what food waste we can prevent. This is where Daisy Scholte comes in with her book.
Koken met Restjes by Daisy Scholte (AKA the leftovers-queen)
Koken met Restjes (cooking with leftovers) is a book which gives you the basics and more tips and tricks on how to fight food waste. This book is amazing! Even though I try to prevent food waste where I can I still learned from this book. Learning never stops when it comes to fighting food waste. Scholte really thinks out of the box. It’s not the typical ‘save you leftovers from dinner and eat them for lunch’. Not at all. She gives tips about literally everything. The crumbs that are left from a bag of crackers, the seeds of a paprika, the last bit of mayonnaise in the jar. All very practical and simple. However, Scholte also gives you the basics in fighting food waste. She tells you how to store food to make it last the longest for example. Most people don’t know which foods should be kept in the fridge and which shouldn’t. And there is more: fighting food waste on a holiday, in a restaurant, the do’s and don’t in supermarkets and how to regrow vegetables to name a few. This book literally has it all! For at home but also further than that. This is the most creative and fun tip I found in the book (it’s genius):
‘Pour some hot (plant-based) milk in a jar of chocolate paste which is almost empty. Shake it a little and you have hot chocolate milk!’Daisy Scholte
This book is amazing and I’m constantly using all the tips. Want to read the book too? Then lend it at your local library. Lending is much more sustainable than buying something.