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How to avoid food waste in the kitchen: repurposing banana peels

How to avoid food waste in the kitchen: repurposing banana peels

Do you know how much food you throw away? 

Food waste globally accounts for an estimated 1,3 billion tonnes a year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, that is one third of all food produced for human consumption. The amount of food wasted or lost costs 2,6 trillion USD annually and is more than enough to feed all the 815 million hungry people in the world more than 4 times. 

In the past years we have made a conscious effort to reduce our food waste, which we have done a pretty good job at (if I may say so myself). We plan our groceries shopping ahead, in order to also avoid plastic packaging, we buy uncut and whole pieces of vegetables that we cook and have in the fridge ready to eat, preserve or freeze. We have also started eating parts of vegetables that we used to throw away. For example, from a whole pumpkin we eat absolutely everything but the stem; we toast the seeds, cook it with its skin, we make batches of puree and we freeze what we know we won’t be able to eat on time.

One of the fruits we eat the most are bananas, living in a tropical country you can see them growing absolutely everywhere, and as we have been cutting and freezing them before they go bad or using overripe bananas to bake with we wanted to find what to do with the peels. 

Lately there have been a lot of people using up banana peels, the most common thing has been to make plant fertilizer. For that you put your peels in a container or jar with warm water and let it sit on your counter for about a week, you can then either use a little of it directly on your plants or dissolve in some more water to water them with (our peels are on the counter as I write this). 

Another interesting way of using them up is to actually eat them, a well known sustainable chef, Max La Manna, makes banana peel “pulled pork” sandwich (check it out here). 

In our efforts to find more uses for them we did some internet research we still haven’t tried them out, but we will let you know when we do, here is what we found: 

  • Acne treatment: rub on your skin and leave for 5 to 10 minutes, make sure to rinse afterwards (repeat twice a day)
  • To reduce wrinkles: rub the peel over your skin and leave for 30 minutes or overnight, wash face and moisturize (repeat 3 times a week)
  • Polish silver: blend the peels, add some water until it becomes a paste and rub your silver with the paste for a few minutes. 
  • Meat tenderizer: place banana peels under or to cover a roast to avoid it drying out as it cooks. 

And lastly, Well and Good magazine has also found 7 creative uses for them that we thought you might like, check them out here!

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