Are you sure that you don’t want to finish that sandwich? One more bite? You might change your mind when you learn that the total food waste in 2016 weighed 7.3 million tons. Luckily, this year three trends have popped up to curb wastefulness that have the added benefit of making you healthier. You could even save a couple of pounds too! Here are some of our favourite ways that you can save both your wallet and your waistline…
1. Ugly food
Ever discarded a cucumber at the supermarket because it looks a bit weird? Maybe it’s slightly bent, or has a black bit on it. Either way, it’ll still taste the same, so now’s the time to start putting unwanted produce into your basket – otherwise it will be tossed (and not into a salad). Want to try it for yourself? Asda sells ‘wonky veg boxes’ which contain five kilos of fresh produce that doesn’t meet the grade for gracing the aisles, but is still perfectly edible. £3.50, available at 550 stores across the UK (head to asda.com to find your nearest shop).
2. Root to stem cooking
Using the entire vegetable when cooking, including the roots, leaves and tops, can boost your nutrient intake and keep your bin empty. Broccoli leaves, for example, are packed with vitamin A and an ounce of these greens can provide you with 90 percent of your recommended daily amount. Try chopping them finely and using them as a garnish or cooking them like spinach. Broccoli and cauliflower stems are also incredibly nutritious, containing more calcium, vitamin C and fibre than the actual florets. So by using them, not only do you avoid throwing half of the vegetable away, you’ll also boost your nutrient intake. And those carrot tops? Yep, you guessed it, you can use them too. Try making them into pesto or cooking them in a soup – they’re full of protein, minerals and vitamins.
3. Keep your eyes peeled
It’s instinctive to dump peel but you’re throwing away useful fibre with orange peel boasting four times as much as the fruit itself, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants. Not convinced? Try using the zest in teas, baking, salads or stews. What about vegetables? Just like kale, you could turn your peelings into a tasty snack simply by tossing them in oil and baking them until crisp. Switching from a bag of ready salted crisps to this version will save around 70 calories and you'll consume less fat and salt – sounds good!