As Steven Troese Jr. first began learning about ways that we can help protect the environment, he was surprised that many environmentally friendly practices that seem difficult at first glance could be maintained without very much effort. For example, food waste is a huge issue that has several negative impacts, however, it is truly not difficult to reduce food waste in ways that benefit the environment. In this article, Steve Troese Jr. discusses a few simple ways that an individual can reduce their food waste and lessen their environmental footprint.
One way that Steven Troese Jr. recommends for lessening food waste is using inedible parts of proteins like clean bones from chicken or steak to make broths and soups. Simmering bones in some water with a few vegetables, herbs and spices can be a great way to create a stock that can be saved and reused at a later date. Chefs maintain that the same can be done for seafood bones and shells as well. For example, clam shells can be saved for a simple fish broth. Shrimp peels can also be saved and simmered in water with herbs and spices to make a seafood stock that is great for gumbos and other foods that require a deep seafood flavor profile for flavor.
Because fresh fruit generally does not have a long window in which it is perfectly ripe for consumption, Steven Troese Jr. acknowledges that it is environmentally friendly to find creative uses for overripe fruits. While most of us are familiar that we can use overripe bananas for delicious banana bread (in fact, they are preferable to using perfectly ripe bananas), there are several other desserts that we in can create with fruits that are past their prime. For example, peaches, nectarines, and strawberries can be used in muffins, scones, and breads. Smoothies are a similarly great way to use fruits that have begun to look unattractive if they are not past the point where they can be safely consumed.
Another way to significantly reduce food waste is finding ways to use up leftovers. For example, white rice that is a couple days old may not be particularly appetizing on its own but can be easily used to make fried rice for a new meal. Recipes like fried rice and others that utilize leftover ingredients in your fridge are also great because they can use produce and other ingredients that may go bad soon as well. Steven Troese Jr. knows that some families have fun using up their leftovers by having cook offs to see who can make the best dish, mirroring popular shows like Chopped.