Keeping on our theme this week of minimizing food waste, today we’re going to talk about seasonal eating and getting the most out of the winter vegetables you’ll find at your farmer’s market and grocery store this time of year.
The statistics on food waste are sobering, as discussed yesterday. Reducing food waste takes a multi-pronged approach. Some of the things you can do to waste less food and be more sustainable in the kitchen include:
Prioritize the produce that is seasonal in your region.
Don’t buy more than you need.
Learn how to store food correctly.
Learn how to preserve food if you won’t eat it in time.
Use the whole plant when possible. (Hint: All of the vegetables we’ll be mentioning today have edible leaves!)
Use food scraps in broth, soups, smoothies.
Compost what you don’t eat.
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In the hierarchy of vegetables, the best choices are fresh, in-season, and local.
Realistically, though, that’s not always going to happen. For one thing, some of you live in climates where access to a variety of local and in-season vegetables isn’t a thing. Likewise, your neighborhood might have a dearth of supermarkets, so you have to make a trek to find fresh produce.
Although home-grown is the best of the best, I know that saying, “Just grow your own!” is presumptuous on a lot of levels. Assuming that you have the space and resources to plant a garden, time is a big consideration. Plus, once they’re grown, preparing fresh vegetables takes more time than preparing frozen or canned, which are already washed and chopped for you.
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For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions from readers. First, what does an “increased risk of mortality” actually mean if everyone’s going to die in the end? Second, what makes fish heads so delicious and nutritious? Third, what is the relationship between metformin and exercise? And finally, how do you prevent frozen vegetables from getting all mushy when you cook them?
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