Food matters for everyone. As children, we have been taught not to waste food because we are in fact, lucky to be able to eat more than once a day. Others do not have that luxury. But beyond that, food waste also affects the environment, and takes a toll on the Earth’s resources. Plus, the less food waste, the more revenue—bonus points for any restaurant!
Here are 5 tips to lessen food waste in the kitchen!
1. Practice FIFO: First in, First out
Use up the ingredients you bought first so they don’t spoil. Make it a habit to reorganize your kitchen from time to time and get your staff to help you out! Keep track of ingredients by labelling them with the date bought or the expiry date and put newer ingredients at the back of the fridge so that the ones in front get used first!
2. Create Limited-edition Dishes
Get creative by using excess seasonal ingredients or extra ingredients that you have lying around to create special dishes that are available for a limited time only. This is a great way to test the market and lessen food waste. And who knows? It might just become the next bestseller!
3. Upcycle Extra Ingredients into a Different Dish!
Got some excess bread lying around? Use the edges and whatever’s left to make bread pudding! You can even use vegetables that are starting to look not-as-fresh and turn them into soups. Instead of letting ingredients spoil, you’re better off finding ways on how you can use them to minimize food waste. And you’ll be surprised—you can upcycle ingredients to create restaurant-quality, fine dining dishes!
4. Use Edible Garnish
Restaurants often like using parsley or artfully-cut carrots and vegetables to add a bit of pizzazz to their plate. While this is a good show of culinary skills, people often don’t eat them, and they get thrown out. The next best thing is to use ingredients that people will actually eat to minimize food waste. Try using edible flowers, fruits, vegetables or even some seaweed for that pop of colour. Pay attention to returned plates and see what always gets left behind and adjust accordingly.
5. Use Everything as Much as Possible
Nose-to-tail Cooking, particularly for meats, is a great way to minimize food wastage. You can use bones to create stocks or even concentrated sauces like demi-glace to be used in case. Extras like tongue and offals can be used by creative chefs to create unique dishes for adventurous diners. It a great chance to be creative and exercise your culinary skills to whip up the next bestseller!
Got extra veggies? You can also use them to create soups for vegetarians and vegans. If you’re growing your own ingredients, the peels and extra bits can even be used as compost!
Food wastage has been a long prevailing issue around the world, but by doing our part to minimise it, we can be part of the solution to help Mother Earth!