IDEA 3: Waste nothing

Updated: May 4

So much easier said than done, but one thing we all have a bit more of at the moment is time to figure this stuff out! And here are a few shortcuts and things we've done at Custom that make it easier:

1. Compost - even if you don't have a garden, you can do Bokashi composting in your own kitchen and then get involved in a community composting network (or start your own with a group of friends). Here are a couple of examples:

2. Eat all the bits. Broccoli stalks, cauliflower leaves, beetroot tops, carrot tops, chive flowers, fennel fronds, potato skins, pumpkin seeds, fish roe, fish cheeks, fish skin, chicken skin, pork skin, pork fat.... all these things and much more are not just edible but actually really good! Roasted cauliflower leaves with olive oil and a bit of sea salt are outrageously moreish; beetroot tops need to be super fresh but are a perfect spinach substitute with much more flavour; carrot tops finely chopped go in anything: salad, pesto, stir fries; potato skins can be roasted and served with a dip, fish skin can be crisped up in the oven and used as a bit of fancy edible food sculpture because we have time for that kind of nonsense at the moment! Crispy chicken skin doesn't need an excuse, pork skin makes crackling and the fat renders down to make lard (which makes awesome hot water pastry).

3. Preserve things before they go off. You can pickle pretty much anything and it's so easy. In fact I think Idea No. 4 might be "pickle something" and then I'll give some basic instructions. If you're feeling a bit more adventurous, fermentation is the next step - and its amazingly good for your gut health too. I've got a dehydrator now, but if you don't, you can easily dry things out in the oven at a low temp (sliced fruit, herbs, kale crisps etc). But also just figuring out the best way to freeze things (i.e. some things freeze better cooked, cream freezes ok whipped but separates if frozen whilst liquid etc.) is really worthwhile

4. Plant it again! You know when potatoes or garlic sprouts? You can just plant them up and grow new potatoes and garlic. Magic. Google a how-to first, but there's no great skill required. Lots of other things will work too like ginger and onions.

5. Re-use packaging and avoid the disposable kind as much as poss. We all know this one so I won't labour the point, but it's really coming home to me at the moment because we have a really limited rubbish collection here and in this lockdown, I can't take any excess to the tip/recycling myself so it is just sat there looking at me!