Don’t just eat it – compleat it!

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.

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?

Smashed potatoes

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.

Broccoli stalk fritters


Broccoli: Finely chop your broccoli stalks and add them to salads and coleslaw or make broccoli fritters.  Check out our other great recipes  for using up broccoli stalks here.

Cauliflower: Roast your cauliflower whole, make cauliflower steaks or make cauliflower rice using up the florets and stalks.

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. 

Apples:  Use your apple peels in smoothies, make apple peel cider vinegar or if you are a jam maker, use the peels to make pectin.

How to join in

Share your own favourite #compleating ideas on our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook channels.

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!