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Laois Libraries host food waste demos to tackle food waste and inspire Climate Action

Laois County Council, in collaboration with chef Yvonne Carty (Hey Pesto) hosted a series of innovative food waste cookery demonstrations across Laois libraries this week.

The events were to celebrate National Food Waste Recycling Week from 6th to 11th of June, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of reducing food waste and its connection to climate action.

During the demonstrations, Chef Carty captivated attendees with her creative recipes that showcased the utilization of often discarded food items such as banana skins, potato skins, and carrot tops.

Participants were amazed to discover how these commonly overlooked ingredients could be transformed into delicious and nutritious meals.

The cookery demonstrations served as a powerful reminder that with a little creativity and knowledge, we can significantly reduce food waste and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Among the valuable tips shared during the event, Yvonne emphasized the importance of writing a shopping list to avoid overbuying, utilizing frozen vegetables to reduce waste, and utilizing the Too Good To Go app to minimize food waste at local establishments.

Attendees were also intrigued to learn that by popping bread rolls in an air fryer, oven or microwave, they could refresh them and extend their shelf life, thus reducing food waste.

One of the highlighted recipes was a simple and healthy dessert called “Banana Nice Cream.” By blending frozen bananas with a small amount of cocoa powder, participants discovered a delightful way to repurpose overripe bananas and enjoy a guilt-free treat.

As part of the event, all attendees received a kitchen caddy, a valuable tool for separating food waste and contributing to the brown bin system.

The brown bin system allows for the disposal of both cooked and uncooked food waste, which is then collected and diverted to either composting facilities or anaerobic digesters.

Composting food waste enables the production of nutrient-rich compost that nourishes the soil, while anaerobic digestion harnesses the waste to generate clean energy, further contributing to climate action.

Organiser Suzanne Dempsey, Climate Action Coordinator,  Laois County Council stated that: “We cannot underestimate the powerful link between food waste and climate action.

“When we waste food, we squander not only the valuable resources that went into producing it, but also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that fuel climate change.

“In Ireland, where we are blessed with abundant agricultural resources, it becomes even more critical for us to address this issue and work together towards reducing food waste.

“National Food Waste Recycling Week serves as a reminder that each of us can make a difference by adopting sustainable practices, such as composting and utilising food waste as a resource, to create a more resilient and environmentally conscious future.”

National Food Waste Recycling Week serves as a crucial reminder for individuals and communities to reassess their relationship with food and adopt sustainable practices to reduce waste.

Laois County Council, through its partnership with Hey Pesto and the dedication of Yvonne Carty, has taken a significant step towards educating the public about the potential of food waste and inspiring positive change.

To learn more about food waste reduction visit www.stopfoodwaste.ie.

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