Saturday, 30 August 2008


I was recently contacted by NOTEBOOK, a well known Australian lifestyle magazine, to put up a post on curbing food wastage and any handy tips I may have (see its September edition article on FOOD WASTE). In support of this campaign, I will be dedicating this week’s postings on stopping food waste. My main focus will be on FRUITS.

I am sure that we have all been guilty of wasting food one way or another, usually unintendedly. I know I have been barred from going food shopping by Mr G as I always tend to buy more than we need, usually on those ‘I am gonna make this one day and therefore may need this item’ but the dish never eventuates and the item gets commissioned to the bin because the used by date has expired.

Anyway, I have developed my own ‘pantry system’ to ensure that this does not happen in my household anymore. Yes it may seem tedious, but it takes only 5 minutes of your time. Every month, I check the dates on the items in my pantry and make sure that those items that are nearing its expiration date are placed on the front row. Not only will you save unnecessary wastage, you will also save money and this could also help you in your weekly meal planning and grocery shopping.

During the summer seasons, when we and the neighbours (they make a good source of offloading any extra food, especially if they have teenagers!) get sick of eating the plums off our plum trees, Mr G makes his own plum jam and plum sauce. In fact, we still have a few jars of the jam left over from the previous batch. The jam is lovely as a spread for scones (try MR G’S FEATHERLITE SCONES) and I love pouring a few teaspoons of the plum sauce on vanilla ice cream. I will include the recipe for the PLUM JAM in the next few days.

Other fruits that work well as a sauce or coulis (a form of thick sauce made from puréed and strained vegetables or fruits) are raspberries and strawberries. I will include a simple STRAWBERRY COULIS recipe in the coming few days – ironically, I had some strawberries in the fridge that were slightly overripe and perfect for making coulis.

Another good fruit to ‘recycle’ when it is gone by its eating stage are bananas. Overripe bananas are great for making BANANA CAKE, BANANA MUFFINS and banana fritters. A popular Malaysian snack made from bananas is the Cekodok Pisang or FRIED MASHED BANANA BALLS. A great snack for the family. The recipe for this teatime treat is posted below.

The ways to stop food wastages are endless – you can use leftovers to create new exciting dishes that even the fussiest of eaters won’t know that it was yesterday’s meal. Any left over chicken from the yesterday’s roast can be made into a pasta bake, chicken pie, toppings for salads or as fillings for sandwiches. Chop it up and use it to make fried rice. Not only have you reused the chicken, any leftover rice is also used. According to the magazine[1], throwing out a kilo of white rice will waste around 2,385 litres of water that was used to grow that rice! That’s the water to fill nearly 0.6 percent of an average council or school swimming pool (assuming it takes 375,000 liters of water) for 1 kg of rice. With the cost of production rising faster for our farmers than farm gate prices, and water as a scarce and costly resource for the farmers, I believe we are morally obliged to curb our waste.

So in conjunction with the campaign by Notebook, I would like to spread this awareness and I am asking and therefore tagging my fellow blog friends to paste any recipes that utilise leftovers or any handy tips around the house to minimise food wastage or recycling kitchen waste. I also ask that they tag their friends to increase the awareness of this issue.

The rules are:
1. Tag five new blogs (if possible) to join this campaign.
2. In each tag, include the name of the owner of the blog and his/her link.
3. Post an article on the campaign – it can include anything from handy tips to curb food waste, recipes for leftovers, composting tips, opinions on food waste, etc.
4. Each ‘tagee’ has to show the ‘STOP FOOD WASTE’ poster and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the tag itself.
5. Show the link to ‘MY HOUSEHOLD CAPERS’ so everyone will know the origin of this tag.

To this cause, I would like to tag:
My Kitchen Snippets
Veg Inspirations
Tastes of India
Mexican American Border Cooking
Mommy’s Kitchen

PS: I have not tagged any of my Muslim blog friends because I know it is Ramadan now. However please feel free to join the cause and voice your opinion on this matter. Please paste the rules on your blog and spread the word.

Thanking you all in advance for your efforts – Here’s to stopping food waste!

DISCLOSURE: I have NOT BEEN PAID for this article.

[1] Notebook Magazine, September 2008, p 79


Usha said...

A very worthy cause indeed and a very interesting post, thanks for thinking of me for the tag, I will try to pick this one up and post on this topic soon :)

VG said...

Thanks Usha

Truly appreciate your support on this matter. Look forward to your post!

lemongrass said...

Hi VG,
I love your unmessy pantry. Please do come over to my house and revamp my pantry, hehehe.. My pantry's always messy and I dont think it'll ever be unmessy :-)

VG said...


Next time I am in Perth, I'll come and do a makeover, okay?