Planetpro: No Time to Waste—More From Every Ingredient

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Generations of cooks have learned to squeeze every ounce of goodness from their ingredients. And many time-honored techniques are also effective ways to cut down on kitchen waste.

Female chef inspecting vegetables for quality

Prepare to Please

  • Provide a range of portion sizes on the menu so guests can match their order to their appetite.
  • Cook dishes only on demand, or use past orders to forecast proper amounts.
  • Let guests choose their own sauces and side dishes so they won’t leave foods they dislike on the plate.
  • Train and mentor staff to avoid recipe and cooking mistakes and to follow serving size guidelines.

Getting More From Less

Spent Cooking Oil

  • Partner with a vendor who can equip your kitchen to trap spent grease and cooking oil, schedule pickups, and haul it away to repurpose it as biofuel or a supplement for animal feed.

Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

  • Use only edible garnishes.
  • Add shredded trimmings and peels to stuffing, meatless burgers, or breads.
  • Chop stems, cores, and extras for slaws or quick pickles.
  • Use blemished pieces in salads or mashes.
  • Tie onion skins and peelings into cheesecloth and cook in broth to add color.
  • Mince or purée to flavor butter.
  • Purée starches to create a thickener.
  • Cook extra or overripe fruit in jam, sauces, pies, or cobblers.
  • Juice produce for smoothies or make syrups and infusions.

Protein And Cheese

  • Cut up trim scraps for salad, quiche, or soups.
  • Boil poultry carcasses with leftover vegetables to make stock that you can freeze.
  • Roast bones and cook with tomato paste, aromatics, and herbs to make fond de sauce.
  • Add cheese scraps and rind to flavor broth with umami.


  • Add sugar to extra coffee grounds and use as a rub for meat.
  • Use extra dairy products in chowder or pudding.
  • Freeze juice or coffee for flavored ice cubes that won’t water down drinks