Cooking waste: what is it?

Peelings, vines, fish skins ... And if instead of throwing everything, we eat them? Recycling food waste to consume it, cooking leftovers, it is an idea more and more in vogue. Sonia Ezgulian *, a cook and specialist in this anti-mess style of cooking, explains how to accommodate culinary waste and limit waste.

How to recycle food waste?

Cooking leftovers, food waste, certainly, it's green. We fill our garbage less. But did you know that this is not only good for the planet? The anti-mess kitchen is also good to taste and ... good for health! So, stop at the waste? Are we trying to recycle culinary waste? Sonia Ezgulia, cook, answers us.

What are the benefits of cooking leftovers and waste?

Food waste is what we do not consume on a raw product. Yet many of these remains can be used in the kitchen. "Nothing is toxic," says Dr. Lecerf, Head of Nutrition at the Institut Pasteur in Lille. First the tops (carrots, radishes, turnips ...), leaves, peelings (potatoes, apples, peaches ...), the pods (of peas ...), the peels ... But also the nuclei, pineapple peel, fish skins and bones, shrimp carcasses, apple cores, seeds, leek roots ... The list is long!

Beware, however, of using quality products, preferably without pesticides or fertilizers for fruits and vegetables: the skins of these concentrate the toxic products. No need to buy bio necessarily to cook without wasting. "You just need to know the origin of the products you buy and how they grow," says Ezgulian. "Wash the peels well before using them: a rinse with water followed by drying can eliminate 80% of the pesticides," advises Dr. Jean-Michel Lecerf. "The peelings of spring vegetables are more pleasant to cook than vegetables bought in winter, thicker," says Sonia Ezgulian.

Using food waste is a movement born a few years ago, both for ecological and economic reasons. Sonia Ezgulian anticipates an amplification of this movement in the years to come. "There is a real craze for cooking today. The more people know about the products, the more they will be interested in what they can do with it. Cooking culinary waste is the second step in this process. Awareness, "she explains.

You want to get the most out of the products you buy, but you do not know how to do it? Here are some ideas! The easiest to cook is vines and peelings. With the tops, one can make soups (including the famous soup with radishes), mashed potatoes, omelets (for example, an omelette with new onions), pesto. "With the stems of parsley, we can make very perfumed broths that replace the cube bouillons that we buy," informs Sonia Ezgulian. Same with the peelings and feet of mushrooms!

The rootlets of leek (small white roots), once fried give a nice accompaniment crunchy. (See recipe: White leeks and rootlets dressing vinaigrette) The carrot peels can be cooked in chutney (sauce that serves as an accompaniment). "This makes an original chutney, perfect to serve with cold meat," says the cook. The peels can also be used to make condiments or jam. "Onion peels can also be mixed with breadcrumbs, it gives a lot of taste," says Sonia. As for the apple stalks, Sonia Ezgulian makes a jelly. (See recipe: Jelly & pie with apple cores)

Other waste seems less obvious to cook, perhaps less appetizing. And yet ... "The bones of fish, sardines for example, can be fried and served on sandwiches. When it is crisp, it is delicious," says our expert. You can also roast the melon seeds, which will give taste to a salad. We do not eat all the food waste: some simply perfume, "moderates Sonia Ezgulian." And to mention the kernels of olives of which she makes a broth, the bark of pineapples that is infused in Water and sugar to give syrup, shrimp carcasses that can be made a smoke ... "It becomes a game to look for how to use each waste," she says. < Br>

It is a sad fact that we generate too much food waste: 20 kg per person per year on average. To reduce them, there is much talk today about composting and lombri-composting. Idea validated! But cooking much of it is another answer. Thus, let's take the simple example of a bunch of carrots: "You can cook the carrots, serve the salad dressings, blanch and saute the stems as an accompaniment, prepare condiments or jam with the peelings", details Sonia Ezgulian. Nothing goes to the garbage. Of course, to really lighten up the latter, it is also necessary, and above all "to reuse the leftovers and not to throw away half of what one buys," reminds Dr. Lecerf. Basic principle anti-waste, but so quickly forgotten ...

Apart from the eco-friendly aspect, using peels and other toppings is not a nutritional aberration, quite the opposite. "The skins of fruits and vegetables are much more concentrated in micronutrients and fibers than the pulp," explains Laetitia Agullo, dietician nutritionist in Toulouse. This is also true for stems - those of onions and shallots are rich in carotene - and vegetable hawks. Beware of cooking! "It destroys a lot of these vitamins," says Dr. Lecerf.

As for our famous ridges, they also have a real nutritional interest. "We discovered with my team that the bioavailability of calcium in fish bones was as good as that of milk," explains Jean-Michel Lecerf. By eating bones (sardine, for example, because it is more difficult to eat large bones), you fill up with calcium.

Finally, cooking food waste does not mean low floor kitchen. You can make great dishes by wasting less. "I speak of gourmet economy: it must be good and pretty if not it does not arouse gluttony!", Emphasizes Sonia Ezgulian. Eric Guérin would not contradict it. This starred chef (a star in the Michelin guide) has become a specialist in the cooking of peelings and carcasses! And when we know that the candidates of the show of reality Top Chef had to cook recently a complete menu with food waste (test imagined by Éric Guérin), one thinks that the latter are not far from having won their titles Of nobility.

* Sonia Ezgulian and cook and author of "Waste, 10 ways to accommodate them" (Editions de l'Epure, 2012) and "Peelings, 10 ways to cook them" (Éditions de l'Epure, 2003)

- Interview with Sonia Ezgulian, 12 June 2013 - Interview with Dr Jean-Michel Lecerf, 17 June 2013

Waste, 10 ways to accommodate it, From Sonia Ezgulian, Editions de l'Epure, 2012, 24 pages, Price: 7 €
Pearls, 10 ways to cook them, De Sonia Ezgulian, Editions de l'Epure, 2003, 24 pages, Price: 7 €