This week, I feel like I’ve been on a food waste rescue mission… Some people take in stray animals – I’ve started adopting unloved food!
On Monday at the food bank, we received a giant pallet of cherry tomatoes from Sainsbury’s, probably the size of one or two of these:
We transferred the tomatoes into smaller bags to make them easy to give out to clients and tried to get through as many as possible, but there were still heaps left at the end of the day. There was no way we were going to get rid of them all, even after passing them on to Tuesday’s food bank, so a few of the volunteers were also taking some. My first thought – with my geeky food waste hat on – was, ‘I actually already have some cherry tomatoes at home. Will I be able to eat any more?’, but then I thought, ‘Woohoo! Cherry tomato soup!’ and helped myself to a couple of bags.
If you’ve never made tomato soup with cherry tomatoes, rather than regular ones you’re missing out. I roasted mine with rosemary and thyme, then added them to half an onion, a lonely chunk of red pepper that was sitting in the fridge and some vegetable stock. After boiling and blending, that was pretty much it. Very simple, very delicious. And almost entirely free in this case!
The more time I spend pondering all things food waste, the more I hate to see any food thrown away. To the point where on Monday I delightedly also took home some halloumi cheese that had somehow crept in amongst our supply of fruit and veg (and had no doubt been left unrefrigerated for some time), as well as an opened packet of All Bran. The All Bran had actually already made its way to the bin; we’re not really supposed to give food to clients when the inside packaging isn’t sealed. I was sure there was nothing wrong with it though, and couldn’t bear to see an entire box of cereal dumped just because it might be a bit stale.
Finally in my week of food rescuing, my mum had a bunch of overripe bananas, so I turned two into banana teabread yesterday (and then annoyingly forgot to take a photo of it!). Cake is by far the smartest way of dealing with bananas that are past their best… Squishy bananas go in, yummy cake comes out!
I’m learning there’s something very satisfying about ‘rescuing’ food. Granted, it’s probably not as exciting as rehoming a stray puppy, but it definitely makes you feel good to know that you’re doing a little bit to help cut down on food waste.