Embrace Your Vegetable Waste

National nutrition week 13-19 october

National nutrition week is 13-19 october 2019 and this year’s theme is all about how to try for five serves of vegetables each day by learning to embrace your food waste!

We all know veggies are good for us – mum’s been telling us for years! Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. But did you also know it can help us be happier, and may even help reduce the risk of developing depression?

Less than 4% of us eat our recommend five serves of vegetables a day. In fact, the average australian eats eat only half that.

And yet, more than one third of rubbish bins in australian kitchens contain leftovers and wasted food. That’s nearly $4000 worth of groceries per household per year that can end up in landfill, where food breaks down and emits harmful greenhouse gases.

Approximately 40 per cent of all food grown in australia is wasted.

Australians waste an average of 298 kg of food each year.

The annual cost of food waste is estimated at $20bn to the australian economy.

One in five shopping bags end up in the bin = $3,800 worth of groceries per household each year.

35% of the average household bin is food waste.

(Australian Government and Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre)

Nutrition Australia Senior Dietitian, Amber Kelaart says that with a few simple steps, you can discover new ways to add veg to your day and reduce your household food waste, while saving money and the environment at the same time!

“eating your ageing vegetables, and eating the parts you usually throw out (like skins, stalks and leaves) makes every dollar stretch further, and reduces your household’s impact on climate change. It’s win-win!”

So how can we make the most out of our groceries?

Amber says to start by using more parts of the vegetables you already have on hand. “vegetable skins contain fibre, vitamins and minerals. Rinsing vegetables like carrots, potatoes and mushrooms, instead of peeling them, means you keep more of those important nutrients in your body, and out of the bin.”

“and don’t throw out things like broccoli stems or the leaves of leeks. You can chop the broccoli stems and use it in a stir- fry or soup. And chips, tart and stock made from the leaves of leek will add a unique new ingredient to your repertoire.”

If your vegetables are getting a little wrinkly, having some ‘go to’ recipes up your sleeve will help you use up your ageing vegetables.

“give your ageing veg a second life by adding them to vegetable soups, egg frittatas or savoury muffins. Just add a few handfuls of chopped left over vegetables create delicious and colourful new meals or snacks. Plus they freeze well and can be added to the kids’ lunchbox or taken to work.”

Nutrition Australia also recommends learning how to store different types of vegetables, so they stay fresh for as long as possible.

“If you have bought a lot of something but only need a little, think about preparing the extra vegetables in a way that
You can use in future. For example, chop up extra celery and carrots for snacks. And freeze herbs while they’re fresh so you can trim some off each time you need more,” amber suggests.

Embrace your veg waste this nutrition Australia’s National Nutrition Week Tryfor5 Campaign.

Visit www.tryfor5.org.au to discover news ways to add veg to your day, with heaps of handy tips to buy, store, cook and enjoy vegetables.

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