Six Cookbooks to Help You Cut Food Waste at Home

by Jerusha Klemperer

Published: 5/15/18, Last updated: 5/23/19

Forty percent of all the food produced in the US ends up in landfills. While some of it is lost during production and retail, about 40 to 50 percent of it is lost at the consumer level. Reducing your household food waste takes some concentration and behavior shifts at the grocery store and in the kitchen, but these cookbooks can make it all easier (and tastier). Think pickles. Think pesto. Think jams. Think kraut.

1. “An Everlasting Meal

Tamar Adler’s book is designed to help the home cook fall in love with cooking again. In the process it dispenses mouthwatering ideas for how to make use of all items going South in your fridge, and all the bits and bobs you planned to throw away. What you thought of as yesterday’s waste is actually a delicious meal.

2. “Cook With What You Have

Instead of building meal ideas and menus from recipes based on buying a bunch of ingredients you won’t use, Katherine Deumling helps the home cook start with “what’s in my fridge? What’s in my CSA?” A small annual subscription grants you access to her extensive online recipe collection that is organized completely around ingredients.

3. “Root to Stalk Cooking

Inspired by “nose-to-tail” eating, San Francisco Chronicle writer Tara Duggan offers delicious and inventive recipes for pickling, boiling, pureeing and eating stalks leaves, peels and more.

4. “Eat it Up!

Our resident blogger Sherri Brooks Vinton’s book all about how to eat every inch of an ingredient, especially the parts you thought were destined for the trash bin or the compost heap. Also check out her pickling and preserving book, “Put ’em Up!”

5. “Tsukemono

Did you know that some foods can be pickled simply by rubbing them with salt? This pickling book by Ikuko Hisamatsu is one of the few Japanese pickling books you can find that isn’t catered to an American audience. Expand your pickling horizons and preserve fresh food that’s on the cusp of going bad.

6. “The Art of Fermentation

Sandor Ellix Katz’s fermentation bible will help you preserve food to extend its life and prevent it from becoming food waste. Milk becomes yogurt, cabbage becomes kraut, you become an expert.

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