Friday Recipe: Parsnip Meatball Soup

Parsnip meatball soup

It has happened to each one of us. You have bought some meat at the grocery and only on the same day of its expiration date, you realize that you still need to cook it. 

Avoiding throwing edible food away at your home place is just a matter of being well organized and ready to experiment new interesting recipes.

Today we propose you an original and tasty meatball soup, which will be the perfect dish for a rainy day.

Ingredients for 3 – 4 serving:

* 1 yellow onion
* 1 Parsnip root
* 3 cups of water
* 1 Heirloom red pepper (horn-shape sweet pepper)
* 400 g ground meat (I bought a pack of Sika-Nauta (pork) mixed meat on its expiration date.)
* 2 bay leaves
* 1 small head broccoli (equal to 1 cup of broccoli stem sliced in a broccoli head)
* 1/2 Tbsp salt

For serving: a few leaves of fresh parsley, basil or dill, and ground black pepper (optional choice)

(Note: 1 Tbsp (tablespoon) = 15ml, 1 cup= 250ml)

Preparation for the Meatballs

* 1 egg
* 2 minced garlic cloves
* 1 and a half Tbsp salt
* 1 Tbsp soy sauce
* 2 Tbsp corn flour
* ¼ Tbsp ground black pepper

Cooking Steps

  1. Start by adding the yellow onion and the chopped parsnip root to the boiling water
  2. Add garlic, pepper, egg, corn flour, salt, and soy sauce into a large bowl which has already been filled with 400 g of ground meat. Mix by hand (better if wet) all the ingredients together and make some tiny balls.
  3. Once the broth has been boiling for half an hour, add the meatballs and bay leaves. Then, cook for another half an hour.
  4. While the meatballs are floating and boiling thoroughly, add the sliced Heirloom red pepper and broccoli, then continuously boil for other 3 minutes.
  5. Top with some fresh leaves of herbs such as parsley, basil or dill. Then add ground black pepper and salt as desired.
  6. Serve hot.

Enjoy and…Yummy Soupy Day!

Stay tuned for more recipes!

Sandra Sandar

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Food Waste Means Water Waste

Water flowing

Did you know that more than a third of all the food that is produced on our planet doesn’t manage to reach any consumer’s table? Every year on our planet, while 805 million people suffer from malnutrition, 1.3 billion of food is wasted at a production, retail, and consumer level.

Now, you are probably thinking that throwing edible food away is immoral and a huge waste of money. That’s undeniable and we at Froodly we totally agree with that. Nonetheless, the ethical and financial aspects of this phenomenon represent only half of the food waste consequences: indeed, whenever we are dumping some food in a trash bin, we are also squandering all the resources (natural and non-natural) that went into producing it.

Today we want to focus on an extremely precious natural resource, water.

Water plays a major role in food production and, as a result, food waste translates into a huge amount of water wastage.

Have you ever heard about “water foodprint”? That is the direct and indirect water that goes into producing a certain food. So for instance, the water footprint of beef includes the water that’s used to grow the animal’s feed as well as the drinking water for the animal. In general, more water is used in the production of meat and dairy products than vegetables.

The massive amount of water that is needed to produce the food we eat will probably surprise you:

  • 2,500 liters of water are needed to produce a single burger
  • 650 liters of water are needed to produce one chicken breast
  • 135 liters of water are needed to produce one single egg
  • 12 liters of water are needed to grow one tomato

Wasting food means wasting a heck of a lot of water.

Luckily, each one of us can play an important role in reducing food and water wastage.

How?

By simply following these tips during your everyday life:

  1. Be a smart shopper: plan your meals and bring your leftovers home from restaurants
  2. Be patient: take care of your fridge, keep it clean
  3. Be careful: serve small amounts of food
  4. Be creative: use your leftovers

Start loving your food now, you will save a great amount of water making our planet happier!

Stay tuned for more interesting facts about food waste!

Alice Moretti

Tip Tuesday: Can Alcoholic Beverages Go Bad?

Bottles of wines

Have you ever asked yourself whether alcoholic beverages can go bad or not? Well, the answer to this question is “yes and no”. Let’s see together why.

The reason why alcoholic beverages do not go bad is because microbes cannot tolerate high concentration of alcohol. Thus, unopened beverages, with an alcohol content above 40% such as spirits, can be stored indefinitely.

However, people usually drink alcohol because of its unique taste, flavor, and mouthfeel. Wine, for instance, contains many compounds that contribute to the overall perception of the consumer. These compounds gradually degrade or oxidized on the shelf, not to mention if the bottle of wine is stored under light or at a warm (or fluctuating) temperature. For this reason, when a bottle of wine is kept for an extended period of time, you may notice a difference in taste and flavor.

To summarize: alcoholic beverages cannot go bad but they can definitely change their taste over time!

Enjoy your drink and…try to consume alcohol with moderation!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of TheFroodly Team

Wan Lih Ching

3 Innovative Solutions to Fight Food Waste

Light bulb to express ideas and innovation

Food has an immense value. Every day it gives us the energy to wake up and live our lives, and it has the power to gather families and friends around the table to share experiences and laughs. Food shapes an important part of our culture. But that’s not all, behind every food item that we can find in a supermarket, there is a hidden list of important resources that have been used for its production and transportation: soil, water, energy, manual labor are just some of them.

Too often, while strolling around the grocery and buying stuff that we don’t need, and which will likely end up in the trash bin, we tend to forget about the value of food. This behavior, together with the inefficiencies at a production and delivery level, causes an incredible amount of food to be wasted.

Did you know that only one-quarter of the food wasted at a global level could feed the 795 million people around the world who suffer from hunger?

Recently, in this global jungle of edible food being thrown away, increasing human population and decreasing natural resources, some cutting-edge initiatives, aiming to reduce food waste, have arisen. Let’s see together what they are about!

1. Denmark – WeFood

Have you ever wondered what happens to the surplus produce in supermarkets? Well, most likely, in case the grocery doesn’t have any agreement with a charity organization, it will end up in a landfill. Sounds like a good waste eh? In Denmark, where 700,000 tons of wasted food are produced every year, an innovative supermarket has been established few months ago to reduce this trend. “WeFood”, as it is called, only sells surplus food (bread, meat, and organic fruit), in some cases past its sell-by-date, at a price 30 to 50 cents cheaper than a normal grocery, allowing everyone to purchase affordable and healthy produce.

2. US – Imperfect Produce

Launched in 2015, the Californian Company “Imperfect Produce” sells, at a price 30%-50% less than a traditional market, the veggies and fruit that a normal grocery would refuse to display due to their funny shapes. To facilitate the purchase, buyers can order a box of fresh veggies and fruit online, which will be delivered directly to their homes.

3. Sweden – FoPo

If you like alternative solutions to problems, this young and vibrant startup will definitely catch your attention. “FoPO – Food Power” collects fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted and turns them into dried powder which can later be used to prepare tasty milkshakes, yogurt, and desserts. The FoPo products would not only be sold in groceries but also to NGOs which operate in tough environments and climate conditions, which make food conservation difficult.

Bringing food waste to an end is not easy. Nevertheless, as the above-mentioned initiatives can prove, in the recent years an increasing amount of people have become more and more concerned with this crucial phenomenon and have started recognizing the precious value of food.

What about you? How do you fight food waste? Leave us your comments below, we would like to hear your stories!

 

9 Tips to Reduce Food Waste

Fresh fennel, carrots and tomatoes

The problem of food waste can be seen at all levels of the food chain, from production to the consumer. That’s why each one of us can still play an important role in fighting the large phenomenon of edible food being thrown away!

Have you ever asked yourself what can you concretely do in your daily life to join this important cause?

We at Froodly we believe in consumers’ power, and for this reason, we have compiled a list of 9 tips that will help you reduce food waste at your home place! Are you ready? Let’s dig into them!

1. Plan your shopping

Before going for your weekly grocery shopping, you should always check what food you already have at your home. Go through your fridge, shelves and pantry to plan your weekly meals. Then, write a list of the items that you still need to buy. Also, think whether you are going to eat at home for the whole week or you have plans to go out. You should avoid throwing random food in your shopping cart since this would increase the probability for it to end up in the trash bin.

2. Check the dates

While strolling around the endless grocery’s corridors in search for food, take some time to check the “use by” label on the items you are buying. If you are planning to have meat on the same day you are purchasing it, then you can look for a steak or some chicken which is close to its expiration date. By doing so, you would lower the chances for it to be thrown away by the grocery itself in case nobody else buys it. On the other hand, if it’s still the beginning of the week and you are planning to organize a barbecue over the weekend, then you should make sure that the meat you are buying will last long. Alternatively, you can always decide to go back to the grocery on the same day of the barbecue to buy fresh meat.

3. Consider your budget

Keeping an eye on your finances helps you value more the food you put in your shopping cart and thus, limits the chances for it to end up in the bin.

4. Keep a healthy fridge

Always make sure that your fridge is clean and that the inside temperature is neither too low nor too high. Food needs to be stored between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius for maximum freshness and longevity.

5. Check the storing instructions

Store your food according to the storing instructions on the packages.

6. Rotate

When coming home from the grocery store, take some time to move all the older and perishable food items in your cupboards and fridge to the front. This is a good habit to avoid finding mold later on in your food storage compartments.

7. Serve small amounts of food

The strongest habits we have are those that we have learned at our home. When eating, either by yourself or with your family, don’t put too much food on the plate. It is better to re-fill it for a second time than throwing its content away.

8. Use your leftovers

Leftovers can either be used for lunch or dinner on the following day (this habit will also save you a lot of time). Tomatoes which have gone soft can be used to prepare a nice sauce for pasta. Other veggies that have started to wilt can be used to prepare soups. Fruit that has started going soft can be used to prepare smoothies or pies.

9. Freeze

Your fridge contains some delicious fresh fish and you have just discovered that you have been invited out for dinner! No worries, you can freeze it and use it on some other day. Freezing comes also in handy when you cook too much of something. For example, if you have prepared a large amount of soup, then freeze it and keep it for those evenings when you are too tired to cook.

There you have it! Those simple tricks will help you save food, money and protect the environment!

Alice Moretti

Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables (Part 2)

Welcome to Part 2 of our Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables! Salad, mushrooms, stems and roots, are you ready to go through your kitchen and refrigerator to check whether you are following our rules of thumb? Let’s start!

Salad leaves

Leaves (eg. Lettuce, spinach, basil, kale)

They neither like too cold nor dry conditions. Remove any bands, ties or pots. Keep them folded in a small damp piece of paper in a covered container before putting into the refrigerator.

 

Variety of mushrooms
Fungi (eg. Various types of mushrooms)

Without washing, keep them in a covered container and store it in the refrigerator.

 

Asparagus and fennel
Stems (eg. Celery, asparagus)

Keep them in a covered container and store it in the refrigerator.

 

Orange and white carrots
Roots (eg. Beetroot, carrot, radish)

They usually have the greens on top. Cut the top off to reduce moisture loss so that the firmness can be maintained for a longer period of time. Wash them before keeping in a covered container which should be placed either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Rule of thumb:

  • Always cut the vegetables during food preparation, not during storage.
  • It is best to store the vegetables in a container to avoid them from absorbing odours from other items in your refrigerator.
  • During storage, separate ethylene-producing fruits from vegetables. Ethylene-producing fruits accelerate the ripening of the vegetables.!
  • Pack vegetables loosely in the refrigerator to allow good ventilation for rapid chilling and for their respiration (yes, they are still ‘alive’ and ‘breathing’!).

There you have it, some easy tips that will help you extend the life of your veggies and reduce food waste at your home!

Stay tuned for more advice!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team

Wan Lih Ching

France Cracks Down on Food Waste in Supermarkets

Fresh binned food to illustrate food waste
Copyright©U.S. Department of Agriculture

While a father with a minimum salary might be struggling to feed his family, a grocery might decide to throw away a large amount of unsold, edible food just as its best-before date approaches. Sadly, in many developed countries, this happens every day; the amount of wasted food increases together with the number of people having a hard time affording a proper meal.

France, which according to Le Monde, wastes around 7.1m tonnes of food every year, and where the phenomenon of poor people foraging in supermarkets bins at night to feed themselves has dramatically increased, has recently decided to take concrete steps in fighting food waste and helping the needy.

A new law, passed in February 2016, stops large supermarkets (of at least 400 squares meters) from binning good quality food approaching its best-before date by forcing them to donate it either to food banks or charities. Those who will flout the law will incur fines up to 3750 euros.

Thanks to the new regulation, practices such as pouring bleach on the unsold food to deter bin foragers won’t be allowed anymore.

The law will also simplify the bureaucracy for the food industries looking forward to giving their excess products to food banks.

This positive change in the legislation, which has been voted unanimously by the French National Assembly, is the result of a successful petition launched by Arash Derambarsh, a municipal councilor of Courbevoie, north-west of Paris. In an interview with the Guardian, Derambarsh has explained how he has started his campaign: by collecting and distributing unwanted food from his local supermarket, an action that eventually has allowed him and his supporters to feed up to 100 people per day.

But France is not the only European country committed to putting an end to the food squandering carried out by supermarkets. Italy, where the yearly value of the food being wasted amounts to 12.5 billion, and where six million people rely on food charities to eat, has recently passed a similar bill. Unlike France, instead of fining the lawbreakers, Italy will give incentives to those willing to donate their food (e.g. reductions in rubbish taxes).

The bill was passed in March by the Italian Parliament’s Lower House and it is now waiting for final approval from the Senate.

We at Froodly we hope that during the following months other countries will follow in France and Italy’s footsteps. What about you? We will keep an eye on this important topic, stay tuned!

Alice Moretti

Image credits Copyright©U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tip Tuesday: Storing Vegetables (Part 1)

There are so many kinds of vegetables out there…But which are the best methods to store them in order to avoid food waste? Do not worry, in this post and in the following one we will give you some useful tips to help you extend the life of your beloved fresh veggies. To make it simpler, we have grouped the vegetables in terms of the unprocessed point of view and not according to their scientific classification.

Fresh Broccoli and cauliflower

Flowers (eg. Broccoli, cauliflower)

It’s fine to leave them at room temperature for several days. Alternatively, you can keep them in a covered container before putting into the refrigerator.

Fresh peas

Seeds (eg. French beans, lentils)

They are fairly easy to keep fresh. You can place them at room temperature, refrigerate or freeze them. Generally, they last longer when kept at lower temperatures.

Garlic and onions

Bulbs (eg. Garlic, onion, ginger)

They are, too, easy to keep fresh. Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Potatoes

Tubers (eg. Potatoes, yams)

Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Fresh fruits

Fruits (eg. Chillies, cucumbers, eggplants, tomatoes)

Store them at room temperature but away from heat, light and moisture. Avoid stacking them to allow good ventilation.

Keep your veggies healthy and happy, stay tuned, more information will be coming soon!

The information provided here is served as a general guideline.

Nutritionist of The Froodly Team
Wan Lih Ching

The hard life of cosmetically challenged produce

Cosmetically challenged carrot

Being a veggie or fruit can be very tough. You might be a tasty, juicy tomato, perfect for an authentic Italian pasta recipe with fresh ingredients but still, you don’t manage to reach the shelves of a supermarket. Or, you might be a sweet strawberry, looking forward to landing on an amazing homemade soft creamy pie but instead, you end up in a landfill. Why? Because you are considered to be ugly, because your life is affected by high aesthetic standards.

Every year, in North America, six billion pounds of fruits and vegetables go to waste on farms simply due to their physical appearance. In the US, the aesthetic criteria are established by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the supermarkets themselves. According to USDA, in order for a carrot to make it to the shelves of a traditional retail outlet, it shouldn’t have a diameter less than two centimeters. A potato should be “fairly well shaped” and a tomato should be “fairly well formed and smooth”. But what does “fairly well shaped” exactly mean? These descriptions are vague and create an opportunity for different further interpretations. What is also interesting to point out is that although the USDA guidelines are voluntary, it is still the groceries that prefer keeping high expectations of how their fruit and veggies should look.

The life for misshapen vegetables and fruit is not easier in Europe where it is the European norms that set the standards. Some steps forward have been taken in 2008 when the European Commission has killed off the regulations on the shape and size of 26 types of fruit and vegetables. Among these: asparagus, cucumbers, carrots, plums, etc. For those, the European retailers are free to choose regardless of their appearance. Nevertheless, for ten types of fruit and vegetables, among which there are apples, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwis and peaches, the shape standards still apply.

Producing food that no one will eat means squandering a lot of resources, from water to seeds but also fuel and fertilizers. According to National GeographicNational Geographic, at a global level, every year the production of uneaten food consumes as much water as the entire annual flow of the longest European river, the Volga.

Luckily, lately some interesting initiatives have arisen to give a chance to the “ugly” fruit and veggies to make it to the supermarket shelters. An example is the American grocery chain Giant Eagle, which few weeks ago as launched the program “Produce With a Personality” to sell misshapen but equally tasty potatoes, oranges, and apples at a lower price. This initiative will be a great chance for customers to indicate that they are willing to buy oddly shaped fruit and veggies.

Remember, cosmetically challenged produce is just as delicious and nutritious as the perfect shaped produce! Let’s fight food waste together!

Alice Moretti

Froodly is giving cooks free food for Ravintolapäivä!

Welcome fellow Ravintolapäivä attendees!

We at Froodly are putting together a campaign to try and help reduce supermarket food waste here in Helsinki, and are willing to supply food for cooks for free! Our goal for Ravintolapäivä (on 16.8.15) is to help create restaurants for the day that make great food, but also reduce food waste. We are getting food from supermarkets in Helsinki that would have otherwise been thrown away the day after and are hoping to cook with it, so it will be good food, and it will also be reducing food waste as a result. We’re looking for partners for the Ravintolapäivä to help us cook the food that we supply for the event, free of charge.

By creating a restaurant in this way, we can supply great food for people, measure how much food we save during the event, campaign to increase the awareness about food waste and help show that Ravintolapäivä helped save this supermarket food waste.

The project is volunteer-based, with us students collecting the food. The food we provide the partner will be free of charge, so if someone may be looking to set up a restaurant for the day but unsure of what to cook or where to get the food, we can help them by having that side of their restaurant covered for the event.

If you are interested please contact me at brennan@froodly.com or +358 41 7036913, and we can discuss where and when we should deliver the food! For more information, visit http://www.froodly.com or like us on Facebook.

Ravintolapäivä Food Waste Campaign
Froodly is looking for cooks to partner with for Ravintolapäivä on 16.8, and is giving them free food!