The average grocery store usually presents customers with tables and tables of perfectly formed fresh produce, and while this doesn’t seem like an issue when taken at face value, when you look behind the scenes, you’ll see it’s actually producing heaps of food wastage every day.
As shoppers, we’ve been condition to think of these perfect produce specimens as the only ones worth eating. However, when fruit and veggies are grown in wide open fields by Aussie farmers, they appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but these ‘imperfect’ specimens are rejected by supermarket giants, even though there’s nothing wrong with them. As a result, when produce looks less-than-perfect in our own fridge at home, we toss it.
In fact, according to Foodwise, Australians send 4 million tonnes of food to landfill each year. That’s $8 billion dollars’ worth of food. Up to 40 per cent of a household bin is food.
It’s time we stopped looking at these quirky fruit and veg as something to avoid, and learn how to use them all in our cooking, and reduce the waste our households are producing.
12 ways to use bruised, ugly and overripe produce:
- Throw not-so-pretty produce on the grill or barbeque
- Turn overripe fruit into jam
- Sauté damp mushrooms for a delicious side dish
- Cut up odds and ends and turn them into a one-pan veggie roast
- Turn overripe bananas and zucchini into breads or muffins
- Soak wilted greens in ice-water to perk them up
- Turn soft avocados into salad dressing or guacamole
- Dehydrate wilted herbs and turn them into herb blends or seasoned salts
- Turn bruised or less-than-perfect fruits into smoothies
- Turn bruised apples into applesauce
- Pop the heads of spring onions, garlic celery or lettuce in afew inches of water and re-grow it
- If it’s too far gone, start a compost!
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