With Stop Food Waste Day fast approaching (28th April 2021), the UK’s biggest organic dairy brand Yeo Valley Organic shares its expert tips for putting nature first and reducing food waste.
From saving the last knob of butter or spoon of yogurt; to using up a hard piece of cheese for a delicious recipe, Yeo Valley Organic reveals the secrets of zero waste cooking. In line with its own brand mission of putting nature first in everything it does and to celebrate its teams’ love of food, these top tips will provide some inspiration so you too can minimise food wastage.
Paul Collins, Executive Chef and Food Ambassador at Yeo Valley Organic shares his top tips for what to do which is reduce the amount of food you throw away. It is now becoming more and more important to be mindful of how much food waste can affect our environment and any little things we can do to help cut this down will not only help our planet, but also our bank balance!
Love your leftovers
We love all food – especially leftovers! A great way to enjoy your leftovers is by being creative and turning them into another, delicious dish. In our café, we like to make Crostini from our leftover Sourdough and freeze them sliced, ready to be used during the busiest days. If we have any whole loaves of bread left over, we sell it to the staff at a reduced rate and if there is still any left, we turn it into breadcrumbs ready for future recipes!
Boil your bones
All the beef we use in the Yeo Valley Organic café and canteen is from our own farms, and we try to use every last bit of meat, including the bones! We make a bone broth or a stock which you can turn into whatever recipe you like. We like to make gravy with it – it takes two days but it’s well worth the wait!
You can also reduce food waste when preparing fish by using the bones for a fish stock, or using any leftover trim for fishcakes, fish pie or croquettes.
Keep all cuttings
There’s a huge amount of waste in every kitchen from food preparation, but we love to see what trimmings and cuttings can be used in other recipes – you might be surprised about what you can repurpose! We save all the trimmings from our root vegetables, such as onions or carrots, for our stock pot, which minimises the need to put in extra veg. Any leftover veg from roast dinners can also be used for bubble and squeak for lunch the following day, and we make surplus veggies or other food items into soups, chutneys or purees. We can do this at the height of their season to maximise flavour and extend the season – it’s especially good with broad beans, tomatoes, or wild garlic, which is in season now!
Storage is key
When saving and reusing leftovers, where we store our food can have a huge impact on its freshness and versatility. Bread and eggs can have a much longer life if they’re stored in the fridge, but some vegetables such as tomatoes are much better kept out in the air so they can ripen and be enjoyed at their best. The freezer is the star of a leftover lovers’ kitchen though, and we treat the freezer like it’s our best friend because when it comes to keeping wastage to a minimum, it is!
Think before you buy
Yeo Valley Organic loves dairy but hate food waste, so always try our best to only buy what we need in the first place. With organic farming, we put nature first every day, but it’s easy to do this when shopping too. Making small changes to your everyday habits can help to make a huge difference – it really can be as small as just thinking more about the environment to help you shop more consciously.
In our café and canteen, we like to put nature first by buying food supplies daily, from local and trusted suppliers. Going to shops and suppliers that are close to you is key to knowing where food comes from and learning to respect and look after it. Doing this also means you’ll only order what is needed without having excess leftovers. Another way we can put nature first is to try to buy seasonally, so we try and source from suppliers that grow, rear or make everything we use in our café and canteen. Buying local is extremely important to us and can not only stop food waste but save food miles too.
By making small changes to our daily habits, such as reducing food waste; buying organic more often; or encouraging garden wildlife, including insects and birds, we can collectively make a positive impact on the natural environment.