Don’t just eat it – compleat it!
Don’t just eat it – compleat it !
How smashing, mashing and hashing your spuds can lead the way in helping New Zealanders reduce food waste and combat climate change.
Consider the humble spud. Who doesn’t love them and their versatility? As Samwise Gamgee declares in the Lord of the Rings film: ‘Po-tay-toes! Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew.’
Unfortunately the host of ways to serve up your spuds rarely include a vital part, and that’s the skin. Even though they contain most of the nutrients and fibre goodness, in New Zealand we throw out 7,039 tonnes of potato peelings each year.
We’ve been investigating how well people in New Zealand compleat their food and it turns out that some valuable food staples – like potatoes, bread and apples – are wasted simply because of personal preference. We surveyed 1,000 households to find out what they aren’t compleating.
- Broccoli stalks are perfectly edible, delicious and nutritious, but these are commonly wasted. 37% of us never eat our broccoli stalks so we throw out 282 tonnes of them each year.
- 10% of us always peel our vegetables before cooking regardless of how they look, yet carrots, beetroots, and other root veggies are perfectly edible without peeling. All they need is a quick wash before preparing – saving time as well as reducing waste.
- Each year New Zealanders throw out 15,174 tonnes of bread. That’s the equivalent of 6 loaves of bread per person every single year. Almost 20% of that is made up of crusts and end slices. If we don’t eat the crusts and ends, we are throwing away 40% of the weight of the average loaf.
The more we use, the more we save
By compleating our food, the average household could save a massive $644 per year. What else could we save? Valuable time, by not peeling and paring. Nutrients, by not carving away the healthiest part of the food. And the environment, by not throwing away 157,389 tonnes of food each and every year.
So what are the five foods we should be compleating for maximum benefit to our health, wealth and wellbeing – and the planet?
Potatoes: Smash your potatoes for a quick and easy skin-on spud dish, or fry up hash browns from unpeeled grated potatoes. If you can’t bear the thought of skin on mashed potato, then check out our tasty ideas for what to do with the peelings.
Bread: If your children won’t compleat their bread crusts, then make bread chips or croutons or make a meal in a mug to use up those bread ends which are too thin to toast. There are more ideas for using up bread crusts here.
How to join in
And of course, spread the word any way you can about Compleating! Remember – the more we use, the more we save – both our money and the planet!