Throwing Out Food, Do This Instead (banana, coconut, walnut and chilli recipe inside)
When there is food going off in your fridge or pantry what do you do with it? What about food, which is left on your plate at the end of the meal? When we scrape the food off our plates after a meal because we’re too full to finish the remaining, do you think about the significance of your food scraps? Do you think about the impact the food that you’re about to throw into the bin could have on our planet? Food is life. It is organic and can positively be turned into amazing compost for us to grow our own food in.
However, unfortunately we get into a routine and we throw food into the bin without even considering where it may go. We serve ourselves up a meal, which is too big and when we can’t finish it we scrape the remains into the bin – again not thinking where it goes.
When you’re out for dinner and a large plate of food appears in front of you and you can’t finish it, do you ever wonder where all that wastage goes?
According to a recent report by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Resources Institute (WRI), about one-third of all food produced worldwide, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. When this figure is converted to calories, this means that about 1 in 4 calories intended for consumption is never actually eaten.
When we have a world full of hunger, volatile food prices, and social unrest, It is shocking and upsetting to read about these statistics.
Every year world wide consumers in industrialized countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (222 million vs. 230 million tons) and the amount of food lost and wasted every year is equal to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crops (2.3 billion tons in 2009/10)
Global food waste is a problem, however you and I can make a difference with small and simple changes.
How does this relate to my banana, coconut, walnut and chilli mini cakes? It relates because I had three bananas that were going off and an abundance of eggs, which I needed to do something with them. Brown and blackened skinned bananas are excellent for making cakes with and there is no shortage of things you can cook with eggs. When I started to make the mini cakes I realised I only had home made chilli oil in the house.
When you live on an island you have to make do with what is in the house. No running to the shops to purchase olive oil. Not only was I doing my little bit with food wastage, I was also taking another step in my own journey of living simply and producing food from lesser ingredients. I feel like these mini cakes are a real win in more ways than one.
- 3 bananas
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 4 free range eggs
- 1/4 cup chilli olive oil (see notes)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon powder
- Walnuts for topping
- In a food processor add all the ingredients. Blend until a smooth mixture.
- In a greased mini cake tin add the mixture.
- Add a walnut to each mini cake before popping into the oven
- Bakes for 20 minutes on 170 degrees
- Use your timer and check in 10 minute intervals. They're ready when you can easily remove them from the tin and they are bouncy
- I used homemade chilli oil for this as it was the only oil I had in the pantry. If you do not have chilli oil, use cold pressed olive oil instead
- I used three mini tins with 6 cake moulds in each
- I am not a sweet tooth and this is why I did not add any additional real food sweeteners. You could add 1-2 tbsp raw un heated honey or rice malt syrup
What I don’t want you to feel in regards to food wastage is disheartened! As consumers, we can do a lot to change the situation. When I lived in the city I didn’t have an opportunity to compost all my food scraps. Actually I did not have the education or self-awareness about the cycle of food scraps as I do now. And now because I do I would like to empower you to look at what you do with your food scraps and make a positive change.
One of the best ways to help food wastage in terms of eating is to become a mindful eater. Serve up smaller meals at home and when you’re out for a meal ask for a small serve or entree size meal.
If you have food that is going to be wasted it is now time to go through all of your recipe books and come up with a meal that you can either eat that day or freeze for later.
If you do not cook, call a friend, your mum, grandmother and ask them to help you
Have friends over for dinner and have a big cook up. Not only will you waste less, you will be able to enjoy fun conversations around a table.
If there is no possibility in your home to own a compost bin, bundle up your food scraps and take it to a friend who you know has a compost bin and leave it with them.
If you do have some space you can purchase a small compost bin to place in your cupboards or on the kitchen bench to help remind you to compost.
If where you live has an area for chickens, I highly recommend you purchase two. Not only will they eat your food scraps they will also scratch through your compost and produce eggs for you.
Shop smartly. Think about what you are about to buy and when it will be eaten. Avoid buying too much and it ends up being thrown out.
Each week take some time to sit down and plan your meals for the week and your shopping list. This will help you to avoid buying food that you do not need and saving money
When you go to a restaurant take a container with you and ask to take the leftovers home. Leftovers are great to take to work or have for breakfast.
Donate any food that you can’t use anymore or don’t know what to do with to food banks
If you own property and have space to compost but need food scraps, help restaurants out and ask your close by restaurants to save their non-meat food scraps.
Live consciously. When you’re out for a meal become mindful of leftovers and ask to take the leftovers home
Buy less, waste-less
Become pet owner of chickens
Purchase a compost bin or make your own compost piles
Share a compost bin with your neighbours
If you have space at your home build a worm farm
I have listed below websites that may interest you to purchase a compost bin for your apartment. Here at home I use a tumbler and currently I have a massive compost pile next to the chicken coop and when the chickens are free ranging during the day they have a ball scratching through the big heap.
I really hope I have empowered you to become a conscious composter and to be mindful in what you do with your food scraps. Food is life and we can turn it into amazing soil for our vegetable gardens to produce more organic produce to enjoy seasonally. Have a go at composting and please comment below if you have any further suggestions on how to improve food wastage.
Enjoy the banana, walnut, coconut and chilli mini cakes.