We recently launched the Unwasted Podcast, where we sit down with a different expert to learn about their unique story and discuss ideas for how to make the world a less wasteful place. The experience lets us explore topics that matter to our company in depth, gives us a new way to share knowledge with our community, and always teaches us something new! Here are five things that we learned from our first two podcast guests.
1. Sometimes the most sustainable decision you can make is to say no.
In our first episode of the Unwasted Podcast, Davida Lederle of the Healthy Maven shared the insightful perspective that what we say yes to often determines how much waste we create in our lives. So whether it means just buying what you need at the grocery store, politely declining a gift bag, or choosing to avoid things that come in plastic packaging, the art of saying no to unnecessary purchases is central to living in a less wasteful life. It has the lovely side effect of making you happier with the things you choose to buy, too!
2. Save your corn cobs and cook with them.
Chef and TV host Joel Gamoran knows a thing or two about cooking with scraps and our conversation with him made us inspired to re-think the odds and ends that we often compost instead of eating. Joel’s biggest case-in-point: corn cobs! These humble stalks are actually an overlooked super-ingredient and Joel taught us that all it takes is a quick simmer in some water to turn our previously-discarded cobs into a sweet and delicious corn stock that can be the base of a soup, chowder, or risotto.
3. We need more people doing zero waste imperfectly.
Davida reminded us that when it comes to sustainability (or anything important in life), it’s better to start doing something imperfectly than it is to wait, plan, and hope for a day when you can somehow do everything perfectly. Action matters a lot more than endless analysis and debate, especially when the environment and our health are concerned. She emphasized how an underrated part of living sustainably is being patient and cutting yourself some slack. Problems as big as food waste and climate change need a lot of people taking action, learning from their mistakes, and then finding ways to do more. The first and most important step may actually be letting go of the idea that you’ll do it perfectly at first.
4. Banana peels are misunderstood.
Banana peels are literally portrayed as an accident in waiting or some sort of trashy punchline in a children’s cartoons, but these yellow wrappers are surprisingly delicious according to Joel. After getting inspired by a few Indian recipes he loved, he started turning his banana peels into an awesome chutney. He also turns his bruised bananas into delicious homemade ice cream!
5. Don’t be afraid of heat and salt.
When we asked Joel for what he thinks home cooks should be using more of, he was quick to respond with two words: heat and salt. He explained that home cooks often cook at too low of a heat to develop the savory, browned flavors they love in restaurant dishes, and that home cooks are similarly timid with salt, despite the fact that using salt properly makes food taste more like itself. To anyone looking to up their game in the kitchen, Joel recommended that rethinking how you apply heat and season your food is an important place to start. Want to see what he means? Check out his burnt honey apple tart recipe!
If you liked these tips and are feeling hungry for more, we hope you’ll check out the Unwasted Podcast. If you do, we’d really appreciate it if you would rate and review it wherever you listen to podcasts. Telling your friends never hurts either. Thanks for your support!