Food waste is a major problem in the United States, and it can happen for a number of reasons. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), food waste comprises 20 percent of the trash sent to municipal landfills each year — that means that more consumable food is thrown away annually than plastic or paper!
Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re part of the problem. Even the most careful shoppers are susceptible to grocery store sales. We buy more fresh produce than we actually need, and inevitably end up allowing our food to rot. Unfortunately, all that food waste inevitably contributes to greenhouse gases emissions (GHG). A smart way to prevent food waste from happening is through learning lessons about how much food you actually need in a week. For example, if you can’t skip on those discounted berries, but you know that you have plenty of fruit at home, freeze them to extend their shelf life!
The next time you’re chopping onions, peeling carrots, and de-stemming your leafy greens, don’t throw those scraps away — freeze them instead. Why? It’s a great way to help you save money and cut down on your contribution to greenhouse gases.
Another great way to reduce food waste (and thus, your carbon footprint) is by saving those veggie scraps to make your own broth, like this Healing Mineral Broth.
Blogger Rebecca Fallihee of Eggplant and Olive created this broth by simmering vegetable scraps such as root vegetable peels, onion and garlic skin, celery scraps, and the stems of dark, green vegetables such as kale, collard, and broccoli. The next time you’re prepping vegetables, simply store them in an airtight container in your freezer. Once the container is full, add them to a large stock pot, along with garlic, bay leaves, fresh herbs, black peppercorn, and a piece of kelp, then cover everything with water, bring to a boil, then cover, lower the heat, and simmer from two to four hours. Add water as needed as the water boils away.
Not only is this Healing Mineral Broth packed with nutrients from the vegetable scraps, it’s also an excellent way to cut back on food waste — and hey, it saves money in the long run because you won’t have to buy vegetable broth. It’s also a simple way to start on your journey towards a more zero-waste lifestyle!
If you don’t plan on using all of the broth within one week, simply store what you think you’ll need in the refrigerator and freeze the rest. This broth can be used for cooking soups and grains or, my personal favorite use for vegetable broth: oil-free cooking. Just use it in the same way that you would oil — and be generous!
If you need more recipe inspiration, we highly recommend checking out Food Monster app, a food app available for both Android and iPhone. The app has over 8,000+ vegan recipes with 10+ recipes added daily Give it a try — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!
Lead image source: Healing Mineral Broth