Sunday, October 12, 2008

Don't Waste

Remember how your mother always told you clean your plate, because children elsewhere are starving of hunger? The better strategy, I have learned, is to take less in the first place. This starts way before you serving yourself a meal - back to the grocery store.

Always check for expiration dates and serving sizes. Once I bought a huge bag of flaxseed because it was on sale and I needed a tablespoon of it for a recipe. Well, I forgot one detail- nobody in my family uses flax and nothing else I make requires flax! That sad bag sat on my fridge shelf for three months until it was past the "best used by" date and was tossed into the trash. Really, what a waste of food and money.

Remember how you learned in elementary school that the Native Americans were in tune with nature and respectful of everything, meaning they used the whole animal/plant whenever they killed anything? Well, I'm not suggesting that you demand the bones with your deli meat and carve jewelry, but there are so many things that we throw away without realizing its uses! For example, peels on veggies and fruits can be made into compost, as explained in this previous post.

Another thing many people throw away is the stem of broccoli! That is my favorite part of the vegetable - it's crispy and crunchy when made in a stir-fry. Just peel away the hard outer layer, chop up, and throw into a stir-fry. Most parts of vegetables can be eaten in some form- just today, I learned that the leaves of a pumpkin plant are delicious and nutritious after a quick turn in the pan with some olive oil and salt. Eggshells are good for plants if you crush them around the surface of the dirt.

Some people even eat the shells of shrimp and crabs! I'm definitely not to that step yet- eugh! The point being, a lot of the things people think of as trash and throw away can be used in some way or another. This image is from Innovate Infinitely.

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