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Fight food waste by reusing these commonly discarded food parts

Food waste
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(NaturalNews) According to the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization, 842 million people worldwide are malnourished, and every day, 25,000 die from starvation. Thinking that it's not an issue in developed countries like the United States is an inaccurate assumption, as one in seven families experiences food insecurity in the U.S. (1)

Still, it's not uncommon to see dumpsters sitting near grocery stores and food establishments that are overflowing with food scraps, many of which are still intact and, often, perfectly edible. Even in homes, many people don't think twice about tossing parts of food, typically if they look old or unusual or have just been part of an automatic "toss in the trash" habit over the years.

To help restore balance to the issue of food waste, it's important to know that many parts of food can be eaten or reused. Here's a closer look at what they are.

Foods that are usually tossed that can be reused

Vegetable tops

The tops of many vegetables like carrots and turnips make very good stock. Katherine Martinko of Ontario, Canada, is involved in local CSA (community-supported agriculture) programs and says that she uses the tops of vegetables and vegetable scraps in this manner. (2)

She explains that, rather than cramming everything in a refrigerator, she simply cuts off tops of vegetables that she knows won't be used in cooking and, instead, puts them in a stock pot.

Limp vegetables

Many vegetables, such as wilted celery and lettuce, can bounce back if they're soaked in cold water for about 15 minutes or set upwards in a cup of water. (2) They may not look terrific initially, but they're still good nutritious, and many, like limp carrots, actually impart a richer flavor to meals.

Coffee grounds

Martinko also advises adding coffee grounds to compost bins, as they are brimming with garden-loving compounds like calcium, magnesium, potassium and other beneficial trace minerals. (2) According to the Composting Council of Canada, soil benefits from the added nutritional value of coffee grounds, improving fertility and texture of the soil while also attracting earthworms. (3)

The grounds also fend off pests, working to keep slugs and snails at bay. Blueberries, tomatoes, evergreens and roses in particular tend to fare better in soil enriched with coffee grounds. (3)

Kiwi skin and watermelon rind

Yes, both of these can be eaten without worry that it will be problematic to health. If anything, eating these items can actually boost health; the watermelon rind (peel off the outermost green skin first) contains high amounts of antioxidants that fight free radicals, and the brown skin of a kiwi has three times the amount of fiber as its flesh. (4)

Both may be juiced or blended for easy ingestion, adding even more nutrition to already-healthy drinks.


(1) http://www.treehugger.com

(2) http://www.treehugger.com

(3) http://www.globalhealingcenter.com

(4) http://rawandnaturalhealth.com


About the author:
Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general. >>> Click here to see more by Michelle

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