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125 Recipes to Help Fight Food Waste

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​Forty percent of food in the United States goes uneaten.

Forty percent.

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It’s a statistic we’ve talked about before, multiple times in fact, but one that bears repeating because the number is so staggering. We need to not just keep talking about it, we need to change it. Especially because we, as consumers, are the biggest part of the problem—we’re throwing away more food than restaurants, grocery stores, or any other part of the supply chain.

A Handy Chart for How Long Fresh Produce Will Last
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A Handy Chart for How Long Fresh Produce Will Last

Before you get too discouraged, there are promising programs designed to reduce food waste, some already in place, and one currently in progress:

  • Last fall, both the Obama Administration and the U.N. each set goals to reduce food waste by half by 2030.
  • Last month, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Ad Council launched a nationwide “Save the Food” public service campaign designed to, you guessed it, combat consumer food waste. (If you haven’t yet seen it, you can do so here. Tell us your favorite part in the comments; ​we’re smitten with the strawberry top fluttering in the breeze.)
  • Last week, a federal bill was introduced aimed at making expiration date labeling on food less confusing. This could have a huge impact, as the NRDC explains:

    Studies show that up to 90 percent of Americans are misinterpreting date labels and throwing food away prematurely, under the misconception that it’s necessary to protect their families’ health.

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And at home, we can all commit to doing a better job of keeping track of what fresh items we have on hand and using tools like this chart to help us figure out which types of produce to use up first. We can also try to make use of everything we can, from bones and brine to pits and peels.

Here are 125 recipes to help us all do a better job of not scrapping so many scraps:

Bones and Fat

Roasted and Whipped Bone Marrow

Roasted and Whipped Bone Marrow by Cara Nicoletti

Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock by Cara Nicoletti

Apple and Onion Schmaltz

Apple and Onion Schmaltz by Cara Nicoletti

Joan Nathan's Chosen Matzo Ball Soup

Joan Nathan's Chosen Matzo Ball Soup by Joan Nathan

Crepinettes with Kale and Shallots

Crepinettes with Kale and Shallots by Cara Nicoletti

Leaf Lard Biscuits

Leaf Lard Biscuits by Cara Nicoletti

Brine—Pickle, Olive, and Otherwise

Stuart Brioza's Mushrooms in Pickle-Brine Butter

Stuart Brioza's Mushrooms in Pickle-Brine Butter by Genius Recipes

David Welch's Red Boat Bloody Mary

David Welch's Red Boat Bloody Mary by Jenn Louis

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

Dill Pickle Potato Salad by Marian Bull

Queen Mary

Queen Mary by MollyandBrandon

A Very Good Bloody Mary

A Very Good Bloody Mary by Ali Slagle

Bloody Mary Steak Salad

Bloody Mary Steak Salad by Ali Slagle

Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle

Hot Chicken and Jalapeño Bacon Cheddar Waffle by Karrie / Tasty Ever After

Tomas Collins

Tomas Collins by fiveandspice

Chicken Salad with Pickled Grapes and Celery Leaves

Chicken Salad with Pickled Grapes and Celery Leaves by Ashley Rodriguez

Safe Passage

Safe Passage by MollyandBrandon

Kimchi Stew with Pork Belly

Kimchi Stew with Pork Belly by Sara Jenkins

Leafy Greens

Milk-Braised Beet Greens

Milk-Braised Beet Greens by Jennifer Perillo

Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens

Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens by fatgirleating

Pink Greens

Pink Greens by Marissa Grace

Moroccan Beet Greens

Moroccan Beet Greens by Silly Apron

Warm Orzo Salad with Beets & Greens

Warm Orzo Salad with Beets & Greens by the parsley thief

Roasted Beet Soup with Beet Green Polenta Croutons

Roasted Beet Soup with Beet Green Polenta Croutons by savorthis

Warm Beet Greens with Sour Cream Dressing

Warm Beet Greens with Sour Cream Dressing by Amanda Hesser

Red Lentil Soup with Beet Greens

Red Lentil Soup with Beet Greens by Medha | Farm on Plate

French "Peasant" Beets

French "Peasant" Beets by Amy_N-B

Beets in Lime Cream: 1987

Beets in Lime Cream: 1987 by Amanda Hesser

Marinated Beet Salad with Garlic Confit Vinaigrette

Marinated Beet Salad with Garlic Confit Vinaigrette by Elizabeth Stark

Golden Beet Cassoulet

Golden Beet Cassoulet by Emily | Cinnamon&Citrus

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Apples and Lemony Tahini Dressing

Shaved Vegetable Salad with Apples and Lemony Tahini Dres... by Elizabeth Stark

Turnip Green Gomae

Turnip Green Gomae by Fairmount_market

Turnip Greens Frittata

Turnip Greens Frittata by Amanda Hesser

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And Bacon

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Radish Greens And B... by sdebrango

Turnip Burgers

Turnip Burgers by Alexandra Stafford

Lemony Gumbo Z’herbes

Lemony Gumbo Z’herbes by drbabs

Radish Top Soup and Slow-Roasted Radish Roots with Fennel Seeds

Radish Top Soup and Slow-Roasted Radish Roots with Fennel... by Viviane Bauquet Farre

Radish Top Aioli

Radish Top Aioli by inpatskitchen

Spring Radishes Salad in a Sour Cream and Yogurt Sauce

Spring Radishes Salad in a Sour Cream and Yogurt Sauce by Kukla

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata by Kenzi Wilbur

Pan-Braised Radishes and Greens

Pan-Braised Radishes and Greens by Alexandra Stafford

Celery Risotto with Asian Pear and Shiso

Celery Risotto with Asian Pear and Shiso by gingerroot

Celeriac and Potato Soup with Mushroom, Walnut, and Celery Leaf Salad

Celeriac and Potato Soup with Mushroom, Walnut, and Celer... by Maja Lukic - Veggies & Gin

Fried Greens Meatlessballs

Fried Greens Meatlessballs by Alexandra Stafford

 Roasted Cauliflower Brown Rice Risotto with Lemon, Walnut, and Mascarpone

Roasted Cauliflower Brown Rice Risotto with Lemon, Walnu... by gingerroot

Parmesan Heels

How to Make Parmesan Broth + 6 Ways to Use It

How to Make Parmesan Broth + 6 Ways to Use It by Marian Bull

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Savory Wild Mushroom Soup

Savory Wild Mushroom Soup by mariaraynal

Tuscan Ribollita

Tuscan Ribollita by Sonali aka the Foodie Physi...

Panade with Gruyère and Onion-Garlic Confit

Panade with Gruyère and Onion-Garlic Confit by Sue Conley & Peggy Smith

Brothy, Garlicky Beans

Brothy, Garlicky Beans by Merrill Stubbs

Peels and Skins

Pakora Fried Onion Rings with Kefir-Cucumber Raita

Pakora Fried Onion Rings with Kefir-Cucumber Raita by Kate Weiner

Tomato Skin Salt

Tomato Skin Salt by Lindsay-Jean Hard

Chicharrón with Lime and Chili Salt

Chicharrón with Lime and Chili Salt by Cara Nicoletti

Candied Citrus Peel

Candied Citrus Peel by Alice Medrich

Apple Peel Bourbon

Apple Peel Bourbon by Marian Bull

Apple Peel Tea

Apple Peel Tea by Micki Balder

Pineapple, Cinnamon, and Ginger Iced Tea

Pineapple, Cinnamon, and Ginger Iced Tea by Laura Biscaro

Fried Asparagus Trimmings

Fried Asparagus Trimmings by Anna Francese Gass

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles

Spicy, Savory & Sweet Watermelon Rind Pickles by Nancy Manlove

Stale Bread

Stuffed Pepperoncini

Stuffed Pepperoncini by Hallie Meyer

Layered Grapes and Bread with Chèvre and Balsamic

Layered Grapes and Bread with Chèvre and Balsamic by gingerroot

Aromatic Poached Salmon with Rye and Caper Breadcrumbs

Aromatic Poached Salmon with Rye and Caper Breadcrumbs by gingerroot

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Strata

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Strata by Janis_

The Case of the Promiscuous Romesco

The Case of the Promiscuous Romesco by pierino

Strata with Sausage and Greens

Strata with Sausage and Greens by Merrill Stubbs

Reheated Minestra with Olive Oil and Stale Bread

Reheated Minestra with Olive Oil and Stale Bread by Christina @ Christina's Cucina

Rum Glazed Coconut Bread Pudding

Rum Glazed Coconut Bread Pudding by Sasha (Global Table Adventure)

Eggless Strata with Butternut, Sausage, Kale and Fontina

Eggless Strata with Butternut, Sausage, Kale and Fontina by lisina

Mushroom, Kale, and Sausage Strata

Mushroom, Kale, and Sausage Strata by Kendra Vaculin

Bagel and Cream Cheese Strata

Bagel and Cream Cheese Strata by fiveandspice

Savory Seedy Croutons

Savory Seedy Croutons by Kitchen Frau

Tuscan Bread Soup with a Sage Oil Drizzle

Tuscan Bread Soup with a Sage Oil Drizzle by em-i-lis

Canederli with Speck

Canederli with Speck by Emiko

Challah Bread Pudding with Raspberries

Challah Bread Pudding with Raspberries by Kendra Vaculin

Gazpacho Panzanella

Gazpacho Panzanella by Marian Bull

Fig and Manchego Salad with Herbed Croutons

Fig and Manchego Salad with Herbed Croutons by Elizabeth Stark

Oozy Cherries Bread and Butter Pudding

Oozy Cherries Bread and Butter Pudding by HungryLarder

Acquacotta (Wild Greens and Bread Soup)

Acquacotta (Wild Greens and Bread Soup) by Emiko

Stuffed Mussels in Tomato Sauce (Cozze Ripiene)

Stuffed Mussels in Tomato Sauce (Cozze Ripiene) by Emiko

Crostini alla Romana

Crostini alla Romana by Kyoko Ide

Savory French Toast with Kimchi and Pink Sauce

Savory French Toast with Kimchi and Pink Sauce by fiveandspice

Pane Fritto (Fried Bread)

Pane Fritto (Fried Bread) by Emiko

Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs and Fried Rosemary

Roasted Cauliflower with Breadcrumbs and Fried Rosemary by Elena Goldblatt

Rosie Birkett's Crispy Roast Pork with Peach Panzanella

Rosie Birkett's Crispy Roast Pork with Peach Panzanella by The Curious Pear

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella

Heirloom Tomato and Cornbread Panzanella by Kendra Vaculin

Arranque Roteño (Thick Tomato Dip)

Arranque Roteño (Thick Tomato Dip) by Courtney Pollock

French Toast Sticks

French Toast Sticks by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Roasted Garlic Soup with Olive Croutons

Roasted Garlic Soup with Olive Croutons by linzarella

Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup)

Sopa de Ajo (Garlic Soup) by Marian Bull

Stems and Stalks

Tomato Arbol Totopos

Tomato Arbol Totopos by hardlikearmour

Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully's Pistachio and Pine Nut-Crusted Halibut

Yotam Ottolenghi and Ramael Scully's Pistachio and Pine N... by The Curious Pear

Velvety Mushroom Soup

Velvety Mushroom Soup by lastnightsdinner

Pretty Radish and Broccoli Slaw

Pretty Radish and Broccoli Slaw by Bevi

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Creamy Mushroom Soup by MrsWheelbarrow

Broccoli Marrow with Pecan Garlic Butter

Broccoli Marrow with Pecan Garlic Butter by savorthis

Broccoli Stems with Garlic and Anchovies

Broccoli Stems with Garlic and Anchovies by Amanda Sims

Swiss Chard Stalk Pesto with Pepitas

Swiss Chard Stalk Pesto with Pepitas by QueenSashy

Roasted Eggplant with Cilantro-Almond Salsa

Roasted Eggplant with Cilantro-Almond Salsa by CarolineWright

Squid with Watercress Salsa Verde

Squid with Watercress Salsa Verde by GrowNYC

Lemon and Toasted Almond Risotto

Lemon and Toasted Almond Risotto by AntoniaJames

Chilled Roasted Beet and Carrot Soup with Parsley Lime Cream

Chilled Roasted Beet and Carrot Soup with Parsley Lime Cream by Merrill Stubbs

Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken

Whole Slow Cooker-Poached Chicken by Nicholas Day

Thyme-Scented Fennel and Leek Soup

Thyme-Scented Fennel and Leek Soup by AntoniaJames

Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette

Momofuku's Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinai... by Genius Recipes

Tara Duggan's Chard Stalk Hummus

Tara Duggan's Chard Stalk Hummus by Genius Recipes

Anna Klinger's Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Anna Klinger's Grilled Swiss Chard Stems with Anchovy Vin... by Genius Recipes

Swiss Chard Agrodolce

Swiss Chard Agrodolce by Meatballs&Milkshakes

Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Swiss Chard and Lemon Ricotta Pasta by TheWimpyVegetarian

Chard Gratin

Chard Gratin by Amanda Hesser

Annie Wayte's Chilled Asparagus and Almond Soup

Annie Wayte's Chilled Asparagus and Almond Soup by Genius Recipes

Whey

Ricotta Whey and Barley Bread

Ricotta Whey and Barley Bread by AntoniaJames

Blue Hill's Whey Punch

Blue Hill's Whey Punch by Food52

Drop Biscuits with Molasses Butter

Drop Biscuits with Molasses Butter by Erin McDowell

Fermented Oatmeal with Hazelnuts, Figs, Honey, Black Pepper, and Buttermilk

Fermented Oatmeal with Hazelnuts, Figs, Honey, Black Pepp... by Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

Other Odds and Ends

Chicken Giblet Gravy

Chicken Giblet Gravy by Cara Nicoletti

Apricot Pit Ice Cream

Apricot Pit Ice Cream by Amanda Hesser

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini (Crostini di Fegatini)

Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini (Crostini di Fegatini) by Emiko

Chicken Liver Mousse

Chicken Liver Mousse by Cara Nicoletti

Pasquino's Trippa alla Romana

Pasquino's Trippa alla Romana by pierino

Chicken Liver Spread (née Pâté)

Chicken Liver Spread (née Pâté) by Nicholas Day

Winter Spring Summer Fall Chicken Mousse

Winter Spring Summer Fall Chicken Mousse by boulangere

Jen’s “Improved” Chicken Liver Ragu

Jen’s “Improved” Chicken Liver Ragu by lastnightsdinner

Grandma Mary's Gehakte Leber (Chopped Liver)

Grandma Mary's Gehakte Leber (Chopped Liver) by louisez

Barbara Kafka's Basic Fowl Giblet Gravy

Barbara Kafka's Basic Fowl Giblet Gravy by Food52

Canal House Turkey and Potato Soup

Canal House Turkey and Potato Soup by Alexandra Stafford

Anya Fernald's Chicken Hearts Cooked in Brown Butter

Anya Fernald's Chicken Hearts Cooked in Brown Butter by Food52

Do you have a favorite way to use an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell us about it in the comments: We want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!

Tags: cooking with scraps, scraps, food waste, food justice