Ever since the Spanish discovered potatoes in Peru and took them back to Europe in 1536, the world has embraced this versatile vegetable with a vengeance. In fact, the potato became so prized that it is now the fourth most eaten crop worldwide. Aussies in particular can't get enough of potatoes, which is why the current brushed potato shortage is sure to leave many Australians longing for the days when potatoes were in abundance.
This is something of an opportunity, however. For in the midst of this precious potato decline, lessons can be learnt for the future of waste disposal as well as potato usage.
From 2010-2011, almost 14 million tons of organic waste (including potato peelings) was generated in Australia. 30-46 percent of all waste sent to landfills during this time was made up of food waste. Food waste in landfills produces the damaging greenhouse gas: methane. However, you can do your part for the environment by limiting the amount of food waste you throw away. For every ton of food waste and garden waste that is recycled rather than thrown into a landfill, 0.25 tons of carbon dioxide are kept from polluting our environment.
More so in these potato-starved times, you should be doing all you can to put potatoes to good use, for your love of potatoes and for the environment.
Roast Your Potato Peels
If you manage to get your hands on some potatoes for the coming barbecue season, you can use them for more than just potato salad and french fries. Those potato peelings that might otherwise go in the bin are potential snacks going to waste.
Rather than throw your potato peels in the bin this summer, keep them and roast them in the oven. These crispy potato snacks are delicious and perfectly compliment the usual Australian barbecue fare.
Grow Your Own Potatoes
Those potatoes with eyes on them can be used to grow your own potatoes. As you prepare your potatoes for cooking, keep aside any sections that have eyes on them. Making sure that each section is two inches square and has at least one or two robust eyes on it, keep these sections at room temperature for up to two days to allow the cut sections to heal. Finally, plant these sections, eyes upwards, eight inches deep in compost-turned soil. Cover them with about 4 inches of soil. As the plants grow, add more soil.
Eventually, you'll have grown your own potatoes, doing your part to save the environment whilst ensuring you have your own private potato supply.
You can even keep potato peelings for their medicinal uses. However, if you do decide to throw your potato peelings out, make sure you use the green waste disposal bins provided by your council, so that your garden and food waste can be recycled instead of sitting in a landfill site generating methane. for more information or advice, contact a rubbish removal service.