Recreating leftovers from yesterday’s feast into new meals can make them more appealing and prevent the glutinous food waste associated with large feasts. In our family, we use leftover mashed potatoes to make potato pancakes. This recipe is simple and delicious.
To make potato pancakes from leftover mashed potatoes, simply form them into a small patty, about three inches in diameter. Add a vegetable to the mix, such as corn, peas, grated carrot, or cooked kale, to boost the veggie power of the potato pancakes. Then fry the patties in oil, being careful not to flip them too often, or they will fall apart. Serve with apple sauce, and you have a great, kid-friendly meal.We don’t eat a lot of fried food, as it is obviously not good for your health. This is probably why I feel the need to pack extra veggies in the potato pancakes and serve them with apple sauce.
For an interesting perspective on fried food and climate change, visit Rob Lyons’ article “The Dangers of Fried Food and a Fried Planet“. He writes, “Just when you thought we were all going to fry because of climate change, it looks like our taste for fried food will do us in even sooner.”How much leftover food will you throw away or compost this holiday season? According to a University of Arizona study, almost half of US food goes to waste! Holidays, such as Thanksgiving, further compound the problem. According to anthropologist Timothy Jones,
…not only is edible food discarded that could feed people who need it, but the rate of loss, even partially corrected, could save US consumers and manufacturers tens of billions of dollars each year. Jones says these losses also can be framed in terms of environmental degradation and national security.
When we want to reduce, reuse, recycle, eliminating our food waste is definitely part of the equation. This is especially challenging for my family, since we live two hours from the grocery store. We have to stock up when we go to town, but learning to stock up on food products without excess is a challenge. I also feel guilty at how much food is wasted in our garden and orchard.
Cutting food waste would also go a long way toward reducing serious environmental problems. Jones estimates that reducing food waste by half could reduce adverse environmental impacts by 25 per cent through reduced landfill use, soil depletion and applications of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides.
Eat those leftovers and take another small step towards reducing your family’s impact on the environment! Happy Buy Nothing Day!
Image courtesy of Pigeon Mountain School.