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Below is a collection of resources to help you on your Food Waste journey. While you’re here, we hope that you’ll sign up for our newsletter and take a moment to follow us on Instagram.


TIPS for keeping your food fresh

ReFed food waste monitor

ReFed has a great resource where you can monitor food waste by region and type. In North Carolina alone, we wasted over one million tons of food in 2019. The majority of the waste was due to food that spoiled or food that we didn’t want to eat.

food waste is resource waste

Food waste is about more than just food waste. We’re wasting precious resources too. Wasted food as an annual estimated cost of $218 Billion. And that was in 2012.

Learn how you can get involved in reducing the amount of food waste in Western North Carolina through one of our five Working Groups.

Ashley English Recipes

WNC Food Waste

Apple Scrap Vinegar

Recipe from Southern From Scratch: Pantry Essentials and Down-Home Recipes, Ashley English, Roost Books 2018)

Makes: 6 to 8 cups.
You Will Need:
6 cups water
½ cup granulated sugar
8 whole apples, chopped (leave the peels on and the cores and seeds in, and use a
variety of apples)

To Make:
1. Combine the water and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
2. Place the apples in a large nonreactive pot, ceramic pot, or glass bowl. Pour the sugar water over them. The apples need to be fully covered; if they’re not, make another batch of sugar water and add just until the apples are covered.
3. Use a large rubber band to secure a triple layer of butter muslin or fine-weave cheesecloth over the top of the pot or bowl. Place in a dark, warm location (such as a pantry, cupboard, top of the refrigerator, or out-of-the-way countertop) for 1 week. If a white, cloudy film forms during the fermenting time, that’s fine. If gray, white, green, or other-colored mold or scum forms, your ferment is likely contaminated and it’s best to compost this batch and begin anew.
4. After a week, strain the mash from the liquid using a fine-mesh sieve placed atop a bowl. Leave the mixture to strain, covered with a cloth, for at least 8 to 12 hours. Discard or compost the apple pieces.
5. Return the liquid to the container used for fermentation. Replace the cheesecloth or butter muslin, making sure to secure it tightly, and return to the previously used fermenting location.
6. Leave the vinegar to ferment for 3 weeks. Begin tasting it then. If it still tasty fruity and not vinegary, leave it for another week. Once the flavor it to your liking, strain it again through a fine-mesh sieve. Store the vinegar in a lidded container at room temperature. It will keep indefinitely.
NOTE: Homemade apple cider vinegar is not safe to use in home canning. The acidity level of vinegar must be 5% or greater to be considered safe in home canning, otherwise it is not properly acidified and botulism spores can grow, rendering the food unsafe for consumption. Homemade apple cider vinegar levels are highly variable, whereas store-bought offerings are consistently at 5% or greater. Use this vinegar in dishes around the kitchen, but not for long-term preservation. Alternatively, if you’d like, you can purchase pH strips and test the level of each batch of homemade vinegar you make to see if its level is 5% or greater.

WNC Food Waste

Pickled Collard Stems

Makes: Amount varies.
You Will Need:
Collard green stems*
Apple cider vinegar (1 cup per pint)
Water (1 cup per pint)
Sea salt, (about 1 teaspoon per pint)
Bay leaf (2 per pint jar)
Black peppercorns, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, yellow and/or brown
mustard seeds**
*Could also make with chard or kale stems.
*Use 1 tablespoon of seeds total per pint jar, scaling up in quantity as the jar size
increases. So, if you’d like a blend of seeds, be sure not to exceed 1 tablespoon of
mixed seeds total for each pint jar.

To Make:
1. Chop your stems to a length of your choosing, either bite-size or in longer spears.
2. Place bay leaves into the bottom of a glass jar(s) to which a lid can be attached; top off with the collard stems.
3. Place the vinegar,  water, salt, and spices in a medium size pan. Bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat.
4. Pour the brine, including the spices, over the collard stems and bay leaves. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Secure a lid tightly atop the jar, and store in the refrigerator.
5. Allow at least 24 hours infusing time before enjoying the pickles.

WNC Food Waste

A Foolproof Formula For Pesto

Recipe from The CSA Cookbook: No-Waste Recipes For Cooking Your Way Through a Community Supported Agriculture Box, Farmers’ Market, or Backyard Bounty, Linda Ly, Voyageur Press 2015).

Makes: 1 cup.
You Will Need:
2 cups packed herbs or greens*
1/2 cup grated hard cheese**
1/3 cup toasted nuts or seeds***
3 garlic cloves
1/4 to 1/2 cup oil
Salt to taste

*Options include: basil leaves and flowers, parsley leaves and flowers, cilantro leaves
and flowers, mint leaves and flowers, sage leaves and flowers, thyme leaves and
flowers, tarragon leaves and flowers, dill fronds and flowers, fennel fronds and flowers,
rosemary flowers, oregano flowers, marjoram flowers, chive blossoms, garlic chives,
scallions, ramps, green garlic shoots, garlic scapes, nasturtium leaves and flowers,
dandelions, arugula, spinach, watercress, mache, miner’s lettuce (claytonia), carrot
greens, kale and/or kale stems, chard and/or chard stems, collard greens and/or collard
stems, broccoli stems, cauliflower stems, shelled peas and/or pea shoots, shelled fava
beans and/or fava leaves, bean leaves
**Options include: parmesan, pecorino, grana padano, asiago, cotija
***Options include: pine nuts, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, cashews,
macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, sunflowers seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp

To Make:
Pesto is typically made one of three ways. The traditional method comes from its namesake and involves pounding the ingredients together with a mortar and pestle. Purists may insist this is the only way to properly release and blend all the flavors and oil, and to a certain extent this is true. But in a modern kitchen, a food processor or blender does the job quite well, and it’s my go-to method in this book. You can also mince and combine all the ingredients with a knife or mezzaluna, adding a drizzle of olive oil in the end to hold the sauce together.


Below is a collection of our favorite recipes to turn those holiday leftovers into something new and delicious! You won’t be able to stop eating that green bean hummus!


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