In the past 30 – 50 years we have become quite complacent about our food. Not only have we moved away from Food is Medicine at a time when we are able to fully adopt that philosophy, but we have also moved away from the habit that our ancestors had of eating all of our food, as much as possible.
We really are lucky – should we choose, we can throw those offcuts into the juicer, make stocks out of them, dehydrate them for use later, use them for flavourings in teas and tissanes – the things that would have been luxuries for our ancestors.
When we look at some of the foods that those people living in the hard times made from very little, the flavoursome, deliciousness that arises out of necessity, I believe that we have lost the art of this. I am not perfect by a long stretch of the imagination, but this year I made it a goal to use as much as I could from the foods that I buy.
Now I do not recommend you avail yourself of an old Australian cookbook looking for handy hints of using those leftover scraps. Our cuisine was certainly wild and woolly in those days. I don’t think that I have found much joy in scouring those books. But when you look at Asian cuisine especially, even today there are delicious meals made out of not much.