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Featured Cooking and the Environment

Discussion in 'General Cooking Discussions' started by SatNavSaysStraightOn, Oct 11, 2017 at 1:31 AM.

  1. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Veteran Staff Member

    NSW, Australia
    I hate both food waste and waste of precious environmental resources when cooking and get annoyed with both cooks and cookbooks/recipes when they state things such as
    • 'leave under running water',
    • 'rinse until the water runs clear',
    • or when cooking with certain food groups it tells you to discard portions of the veg that are perfectly edible, such as the greener parts of a leek because it will colour the food green later on (or add a green tinge to the soup).
    Am I alone in this? What do others do? Do you throw away those edible parts of your veg just because the recipe doesn't use it? Do you add it anyway and accept the slight green tinge that the green parts of leeks may add to your soup? What other annoying or wasteful instructions have you seen in recipes?
  2. Elawin

    Elawin Über Member Recipe Challenge Judge

    If something says leave under running water, I put a bowl underneath the tap. At least then the water can be used to water plants or, if it's not mucky, tip it into a bucket and use it to wash the floor - I do that with any washing up water too, provided it's not greasy. As for rinsing things until the water runs clear, only is something really needs it. I do do this with rice, lentils and green leaves which may have grit it, but the first couple of rinses are always in my drainer bowl with a good swish round. As for food waste, I do take off outer leaves of cabbages etc and only peel root veg and hard fruit if absolutely necessary. If I can't use it up straightaway, it can always be given to the dog. As for leeks (and spring onions, for that matter), I use all of them - the green bits of leeks are often the tastiest bits anyway even if they are a bit coarser and may take a tad longer to cook.

    As for wasteful instructions, "cook the [whatever] and then drain". The number of people who will pour that liquid down the sink amazes me. That cooking water can be used as a good base for (or instead of) stock, or put in the fridge/freezer with odd bits of veg to be used later. Also, one of the best natural drinks out there is fresh, hot cabbage water with pepper in! The mutt is quite partial to veggie water in his dinner too.
  3. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I wouldn't throw the green parts away but I might not use them in a specific recipe because of the visual aesthetic - especially if it is going to be photographed! It depends on the recipe. I'd make stock using the green parts rather than chuck them.
    ElizabethB and Francesca like this.
  4. Francesca

    Francesca Senior Member

    @SatNavSaysStraightOn & @morning glory,

    Same here .. I make stock from the veggies parts I do not use in a recipe ..

    Interesting post ..

    Have a nice evening / day ..
    ElizabethB likes this.
  5. ElizabethB

    ElizabethB Active Member

    Lafayette, LA. US
    I have 2 4'x4' table height garden boxes on my patio for veggies and multiple pots for my herbs. I have a compost bin in the back corner of the yard.. Coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, egg shell, peelings, and all uncooked stems, leaves, cores go into the bin.

    George's mower has a bagger attachment. A couple of times a year I have him bag the grass clippings and add that to the compost bin. We used to have a beautiful live oak which gave me all of the browns I needed. Unfortunately we had to have it removed. Not really a problem. Both of my neighbors have oak trees. When the leaves fall George uses his mower to gather and mulch their leaves. Win - win. I get browns for my compost and the neighbors don't have to rake leaves.

    I just recently started freezing cooking water. It makes a great base for broths, stocks or soups.
    morning glory, Elawin and Francesca like this.
  6. morning glory

    morning glory Obsessive cook Staff Member

    I'm beginning to feel guilty...
    ElizabethB likes this.

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