CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - It's no secret that food waste is a huge problem in this country with a mind boggling 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in this country being tossed in the trash. So more people are making it their mission to turn would-be trash into edible treasure, one household at a time.
Abby Steele prides herself on running a sustainable kitchen.
"It does drive me crazy when I see people throwing away food," she said.
Basically, if Steele buys it --she eats it, even food items some might consider scraps.
Of course, most fruit leaves and veggies make it into smoothies. But Steele also uses things like carrot tops to spruce up her pesto.
When avocados get past their prime Steele blends them with chocolate to make a mousse.
Nutritionist Rebecca Scritchfield said that's not all you can do with the nutrient-packed produce.
"When you have avocado and it's about to go bad or there's brown spots in it, you can actually take the avocado and use it in recipes, even your brownies. You won't notice the color difference there," she said.
Kiwi rinds make great a meat tenderizer. Just cut the kiwi in half, scoop out the fruit and rub it on chicken or beef to make it more palatable.
There are numerous uses for used coffee grounds. They can fertilize plants, absorb food odors in the fridge. And mixed with coconut oil, they make for a fantastic facial scrub.
"I'm getting more creative with the products that I'm using on my skin," said Steele.
To help reduce food waste, first use what you have on hand, plan before shopping and only buy what you need.
"We have more food in landfills than plastic or paper and that contributes to global warming," said Scritchfield.
It can also hit your wallet. The average family of four wastes an estimated $1,500 worth of food each year. Steele said sustainability makes sense all the way around.
"I'm saving money, and I'm making my food healthier, and I'm having more fun," she said.