Mumbai chefs let you in on hacks to save food wastage

Jul 08, 2018, 08:20 IST | Kasturi Gadge

mid-day reaches out to chefs to discuss food management ideas that you could implement

Mumbai chefs let you in on hacks to save food wastage

A recent CSR Journal reported that Indians waste as much food as the whole of the UK consumes. With a large chunk of our population still struggling for three meals a day, food management is the need of the hour. We reach out to chefs to discuss food management ideas that you could implement.

1. Make a shopping list
Chef Aloysius D’Silva of Lady Baga

Shopping markets are designed in a way that they lure their customers into buying more than what they might need. D’Silva says, “Twenty per cent of all wastage could be avoided if people don’t buy in excess and if they stored them properly. For example, when you’re at a supermarket shopping, it’s very important to not bring too much stuff home. If you can reduce your purchases, you can reduce not only your wastage, but also your house expenses.” Pen down your shopping list before you head out to make sure you buy only what you need. While buying fresh produce every day is ideal, you can also look at adding an extra shopping day mid-week rather than buying in bulk for the week.

2. Don’t waste the peels
Anjali Pathak, chef and owner of Flavour Diaries

When cooking cauliflower and broccoli, we tend to ditch the stems and leaves. Similarly, we land up trashing the peelings of fruits and vegetables. Anjali Pathak suggests, “Keep all the peels from your fresh veggies, wash them well in plenty of clean water, and throw them in a homemade stock.” You can also slow cook all the leftover cuts of meat and spices for a fabulous, easy and flavourful meal.

3. Leftovers are great
Neeraj Rawoot, executive chef, Sofitel Mumbai BKC

You can enjoy a cold slice of pizza from the night before for breakfast. Rawoot believes that the word ‘leftovers’ has a very bad reputation because one often refers to it as stale or old food and is the same as eaten the previous day. He adds. “If you are a foodie, you will have fun with exploring all the wonderful recipes you can concoct by adding ingredients to your leftovers to bring them back to life. And for those who just cannot even fathom doing that, simply stop over-serving! As Indians, it is our DNA to continue serving people much after they have begged us to stop — so maybe this could be one simple step. Serve less, cook less, waste less.”

4. Keep a food waste journal
Gaurrav Gidwani, food and beverage director, The Bar Stock Exchange

Gaurrav Gidwani, food and beverage director, The Bar Stock Exchange says, “At the restaurant, we maintain a daily wastage update which is monitored and records are taken in consideration for making reports at the end of each week.” He recommends you follow the same rule at home. He feels that doing this will help you understand consumption pattern which will in turn also monitor your buying habits. You could track the times you eat, the food you eat, portion sizes, and perhaps your feelings too.

5. Juice your leftovers

When shopping at a supermarket, there are times when you are forced to buy an entire packet of a certain ingredient. For example, spinach, tomatoes, chillies, coriander et al. If you are finding it hard to finish them all before their expiration date, we suggest you look at making juices and chutneys out of them. So, for instance, you have a packet of coriander about to go bad, blend it with some ginger, garlic, chillies and lemon juice. It will come in handy in making sandwiches for breakfast. And for the “too much spinach” problem, you can make delicious spinach, banana and walnut smoothie out of it.

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