We waste a third of the world’s food supply every year along with all the energy and water needed to produce it. However, we may be chucking away food scraps that are not scraps at all. Many fruit and vegetables have skins and leaves which we commonly discard that are more colourful and higher in nutritious phytochemicals like carotenoids and flavonoids than the flesh. These deliver a greater variety of antioxidants if we learn how to utilize them.
It’s important to note that if you do start consuming the skins, or outer shells of fruits and vegetables to ensure you buy organic since a higher percentage of pesticides are retained in the skins and shells than on the inner flesh.
Processing of fruits produces and vegetables produces two types of waste – a solid waste of peel/skin, seeds and a liquid waste of juice and washwaters. These waste by-products could be utilized as a good source of affordable antioxidants for advancing human health and preventing some chronic diseases
1. POTATO AND CARROT SKINS
Most of the nutrients in potatoes and carrots, like vitamin C and potassium, are preserved when eaten with the skin on. The skins also contain significant fiber. Nearly every recipe that calls for a peeled potato or carrot can be made with a peel-on potato or peel-on-carrot, so experiment and leave those skins alone.
2. BROCCOLI STALKS AND LEAVES
The stalks and leaves of the superfood broccoli are just as packed with antioxidants, fiber, and taste as the florets, yet they often end up going to waste. The leaves are generally not even available in most supermarkets but they will grow in your garden. Broccoli stalks and leaves are an excellent source of carotenoids and vitamins A & C. You can consume them raw in a salad and don’t forget that the stems contain a good dose of fibre, and sliced are great for a crunchy snack.