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Book Review: The Zero Waste Cookbook

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Increase your self-sufficiency and reduce waste at home with the Zero Waste Cookbook…

With everything going on in the world right now, it’s more important than ever to do what we can to be self-sufficient. Learning to cook for yourself (if you don’t already) has many benefits – for both your own health and the health of the planet.

Cooking at home allows you to control what’s in your food, and where it comes from. You can purchase organic produce, or sustainably raised meats, so you also have a say in how your food is produced.

Cooking for yourself, rather than eating out, also cuts down on waste as well as transportation costs. Though you may still have to drive to the grocery store or farmer’s market to pick up the ingredients for your meals, you can usually purchase enough food in one trip to make multiple meals.

Being frugal when you shop and only buying what you really need can really help to cut down on food waste, which is a huge problem in America. But even if you’re really frugal, there are probably still parts of the foods that you buy that you usually throw away – such as carrot tops, fruit and vegetable peelings, or the stems of herbs or various greens such as kale.

Composting can help cut down on the amount of kitchen waste that goes to the landfill, but you can also learn to make the most of each food item.

The Zero Waste Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Cooking without WasteZero-Waste Cookbook (Hardie Grant; $19.99), by Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev, is a great resource to help with this endeavor. You’ll learn how to use and enjoy everything from pumpkin seeds to corn husks, leftover oatmeal, grapefruit rinds, bean and pea pods, and more.

The book is divided into chapters around the main categories of food waste (vegetables, fruit, dairy and eggs, meat and seafood, bread and pulses, and leftovers), with both full recipes and smaller lists of ideas – all illustrated with beautiful, full-color photos.

Many of the recipes can be made with just a small amount of scraps, so you don’t have to save them up for weeks to make a dish. For example, the Carrot Pulp Cake is made from the pulp leftovers of juicing just 3 carrots.

By learning to repurpose your food scraps into tasty recipes, you can not only help to reduce waste, but you’ll also save money and stretch your budget by using more of the food you buy, instead of throwing unused parts of it away.

This makes The Zero Waste Cookbook a great investment that will easily recoup its price on your next visit to the farmer’s market.

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