It’s June, which means the NOLA Locavore’s annual Eat Local Challenge is in full swing, reminding us to make an extra effort to do our part to take care of our environment. Of course it’s always a good idea to buy local, and to focus on reducing, reusing, and repurposing. To help make a notch easier, here are 3 DIY strategies start right now!
- Use the whole thing: “Nose-to-Tail” + “Root-to-Stem”
One-third of the world’s food goes to waste. We can do our part to help, by not wasting any part of a plant or animal, even those parts that are often considered less than desirable.
Roots & greens. Cooking up root vegetables? Don’t toss the leafy greens. Instead, braise, pan-sauté, or roast them.
Stalks and stems. Use those tough little bottom parts of stalks of vegetables like celery, asparagus, cauliflower, and broccoli: Dice to add crunch to salads or slaw, or puree for spreads, dips and soups.
- Freeze it: Use your ice cube tray
Many recipes call for just a tablespoon or two of ingredients like tomato paste, wine, broth, or freshly-squeezed lemon juice. So instead of tossing the rest, freeze these leftover liquid ingredients in ice cube trays, then store in the freezer in an airtight container until you need them.
Fresh herbs: Pack ice cube trays half-way full with chopped herbs, then fill with water or olive oil and freeze (use oil when freezing heartier herbs like rosemary, sage or oregano, but stick with water when freezing more delicate herbs like cilantro, mint or basil).
- Compost it: DIY or Drop it off
Collect food scraps in sealed bins and mix with brown matter like leaves and water and to create new organic soil. To learn more about composting, Lynne Serpe of the New Orleans-based Compost NOW nonprofit initiative has recommends several websites:
Simple how-to instructions: www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home.
Not ready to build and maintain a compost bin in your backyard? Check out Compost NOW, a nonprofit initiative here in NOLA that makes it easy to compost, doing our part to help reduce food waste going into landfills.
It’s free, easy and convenient: Simply drop off fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, nut shells, seed shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, filters, plain pasta, plain grains, plain bread at one of their seven participating library sites (details at www.compost-now.org). Bring items frozen, in reusable containers or paper or compostable bags; they provide the bins to dump scraps into.
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