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 declares in the Lord of the Rings: ‘Po-tay-toes! Boil ‘em, mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew.’
Unfortunately, the host of ways to serve up your spuds can sometimes miss a vital part – the skin. In New Zealand, we throw out 7,039 tonnes of potato peelings each year, despite the fact that this is where most of the nutrients and fibre goodness are contained.
And potatoes are just a small piece of the picture. Total food waste for NZ sits at a whopping 157,398 tonnes per year, costing the average household $644 annually and also creating one of our biggest environmental challenges. If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
This is where the Compleat campaign from Love Food Hate Waste comes in. “If everyone took action and compleated their food, we could make a huge difference to the planet, our diets and our purses,” says Jenny Marshall of Love Food Hate Waste.
“There are simple changes everyone can make. Try mashing your potatoes with the skin on; you will retain all that goodness and it won’t taste that different. Or why not try smashing your potatoes instead of mashing them? Cook them in a large pot of boiling water until tender, then place in a baking tray. Smash them with a fork until flattened but still intact. Top with olive oil and cook for 10-15 minutes until crisp or golden brown.
If you really can’t resist peeling your potatoes, then turn the potato peelings into potato crisps for a healthy pre dinner snack. Mix potato skins in a bowl with enough oil to lightly coat them. Place on a baking tray. Put skins in a 180°C oven for 15 minutes until crispy.”
Jenny Marshall has great hopes for the Compleat campaign. “If everyone made small changes like these to how they compleat their food, as a country we would end up making a significant change to how much food we waste and its impact on climate change.”
This campaign is another way for growers and processors to connect with consumers. To find out more about the Love Food Hate Waste team and use their resources in your business PR go to their website www.wasteminz.org.nz