Has it ever happened to you to think you don’t have anything in your fridge to eat and need to go out or order something in? Well, I bet there is something you can fix up with a few scraps in there!
We currently produce food for more than 10 billion people (the global population is at 7.5 billion right now), and 1/3 of food produced for human consumption is lost or WASTED! That is 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year! 1/4 of this food could end Food Hunger (that is the ca. 1 billion of people suffering of under nutrition or starvation). Not to mention the waste in environmental resources used for food production such as land, water, energy, and of course the economical costs gone to waste (the US food wastage totalled in 750 billion dollars in 2009). (data from fao.org)
These facts are important to keep in mind to make us a more conscious consumer and also when people criticize organic agriculture for its low productivity and the fact it could never feed the world. Yes, organic agriculture has shown to have lower productivity (on average 15-20% less than conventional), but these numbers vary a lot depending on the climatic and crop varieties, and organic has been proven to have better productivity on a long-term practice and especially in bad climatic and soil situations where conventional doesn’t grow at all.
This food wastage isn’t alright! And everyone should contribute doing something to tackle this problem. There are many ways to reduce our waste, starting by planning our weekly shopping list, checking for expiration dates of your products and consume those first, use food scraps to make stocks or compost them. There are many no waste gurus or instagram accounts that give great tips, like Bea Johnson (ZeroWasteHome) or Lauren Singer (TrashisForTossers); or apps like TooGoodToGo that allows you to order cheaper food prepared with out of date but perfectly fine products. Another example are the Disco Soups, where food from supermarkets or shops that would be thrown away gets picked up, cooked into delicious meals and served to big crowds for free (the 28th of April will be international Disco Soup day).
There is a small yet growing movement going on, but it still needs more governmental / political support and attention, for example, in Italy, supermarkets are not allowed to just give expired food away for health reasons, but there are many foods that are still perfectly safe to eat after their expiration date (for example yogurts will last up to a year if unopened and stored properly, it just won’t have as many alive probiotics in it as in its early stage of life).
So this salad was the result of a pretty random mix of ingredients I had in the fridge, just sitting there alone and looking sad. I had 1/4 of a Cauliflower, cooked Mung beans from a couple of days ago, some carrots I forgot I had, a few almonds in a jar in the far back of a shelf, and a couple more things that put together made a great salad and the perfect healthy and nutritious lunch for two.
The point of this post is that you can create something delicious and creative even when you think you can’t, so the recipe below is more of a statement and example than a recipe per se.
→ 1 cup cooked mung beans
→ 1/4 cauliflower head, boiled
→ 3 carrots, grated or peeled in ribbons
→ a handful of almonds, sliced and toasted
→ 2 eggs, soft-medium cooked (from happy chickens!)
→ salad leaves (I used a chicory variety now in season)
for the dressing:
→ extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper
Mix everything together, add the dressing and serve with some good toasted bread (I had buckwheat sourdough on hand).