AMSTERDAM – As a kid, my parents used to make me feel guilty about not cleaning my plate while there are children in the world who are starving. And maybe we all should feel guilty; because all of the food waste in the world each year could feed millions of hungry people. What is happening?
Apples with ugly spots, bananas that have turned brown, old bread, broccoli stems… There’s so much food that we throw into our trashcan. In the Netherlands alone we waste two-thirds of our food. And food is being wasted throughout the entire food chain Supermarkets turn down potatoes and cucumbers that are not the right size or shape. Would you like to know how much food is wasted every minute? Take a look at the World Food Clock: http://worldfoodclock.com/.
The more people that become aware of this problem, and what the impact is of this large amount of food waste, the faster a reduction can be implemented. Reducing food waste on a personal level is pretty easy. First, don’t over-stock your food cabinet. If you plan meals, you can buy smart and avoid impulse buying. Second, go to the market and buy those vegetables that look funny and save them from being tossed away for not looking pretty. Third, store consciously and properly in your fridge and freezer by storing them in the right place and in the right way, so your products will keep longer. You can also pickle your fruits and vegetables yourself! Also: don’t toss away food that has exceeded the expiration date. If it still looks, smells and tastes good, it probably is.
To inspire you not to throw away vegetable parts that you usually might not use, I’ll conclude with a delicious vegan broccoli soup recipe from www.mynewroots.org! When you make this soup you can use both florets and stem, but remember to cook the stem a little longer. Enjoy
CREAM OF BROCCOLI AND CASHEW SOUP
1 lb / 500g onions, chopped
1 knob coconut oil
½ tsp. sea salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs / 1kg broccoli, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
fresh green chili, minced (enough to suit your taste)
½ cup nutritional yeast
1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley, leaves and tender stems only
2 tsp. lemon juice
sea salt to taste
chili flakes for garnish, if desired
1 cup / 150g raw cashews
1 ¼ cups / 300ml water
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. sea salt
1. Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with water. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, stir and let it soak at room temperature for about 4 hours (overnight is fine). Drain and rinse.
2. Place cashews in a blender, add all other cashew cream ingredients and blend on the highest setting until completely smooth. Season to taste. Set aside.
3. Heat a knob of coconut oil in a large stockpot. When melted, add onions and a few pinches of sea salt, stir, and cook until the onions have softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and chili, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Next add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and simmer for just five minutes – do not overcook! The broccoli should be bright green and slightly al dente.
4. Remove about half of the cashew cream from the blender and set aside. Add the stockpot contents to the blender (you may need to do this in batches) and blend on the highest setting until smooth. Add the nutritional yeast, parsley, and lemon juice. Blend on high until smooth. Season to taste.
5. To serve, pour the soup into bowls. Add a few spoonful of the leftover cashew cream and swirl into the soup. Sprinkle with chili flakes and a couple of parsley leaves. Enjoy hot.