For the last seven years, Green Connect has lead the Illawarra’s fight against waste through our Zero-Waste service. We employ former refugees and young people to manage waste streams for festivals and large businesses. The more waste we can divert from landfill and into recycling and composting, the better!
Recent media attention on the extent of food waste, its environmental and social impacts comes as no surprise to us; having seen firsthand what people put in the bin. The average Australian household throws out up to 20% of the food they purchase; a shocking statistic when considering the contribution that methane gas from landfill makes to climate change. Our Zero-Waste staff help to reduce this figure.
But what is often not talked about is the farm waste that often occurs before the food gets to the consumer. 20-40% of fruit and vegetables produced in Australia are thrown out before they even reach the market shelves! The number one reason for this being that this product fails to meet the aesthetic expectations of supermarkets and their customers: i.e. it just doesn’t look right.1Green Connects Fair Food veg box model stops this food waste at the source. Establishing a direct connection between the farmer and the customer through a subscription model gives the farmer an idea of how much needs to be grown to meet the market demand, which limits waste caused by overproduction in more uncertain markets. But we also celebrate the whole harvest, no matter how it looks. Our team work hard to provide the community with fresh veg, so if a carrot is perfectly edible but looks a bit wonky or forked, we say ‘get forked’; bite into it and you’ll find out that they taste just the same! So, enjoy your vegies for what they taste like and not how they look.
Enjoy! Callum Champagne (Green Connect Farm Manager)
· 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
· 3/4 cup red lentils (dried) or 1.2 cup cooked lentils.
· 2 eggs
· 1 tbsp Tahini
· 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
· 2 garlic cloves
· 3 tbsp of breadcrumbs
· 1 tsp cumin
· 1/2 tsp ground coriander
· Salt and Pepper
· Olive oil
Method Cooked the red lentils so that they are slightly overcooked and gooey, pour off access water and let cool down. Crack the eggs into a bowl and stir in lemon juice, crushed garlic and tahini and whisk to a smooth batter. Mix in the carrots, lentils and seasoning. Shape into 8 even patties and fry on medium heat in a generous amount of olive oil, flip over once you’ve got a nice crust on the bottom side and fry on the other side. You could bake these in the oven as well on 200C for 20 min or until nice and golden. Serve with a nice salad or some wilted kale.
Carrot Top Pesto
· 2 tbsp almonds or hazelnuts
· 30g /1 1/4 oz carrot tops
· 1 clove garlic
· juice and zest of 1/2 orange
· 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese grated
· olive oil
· salt and pepper to taste
Toast the almonds in a dry pan and watch them carefully as they can catch and burn in seconds. Chop the carrot fronds and toss into a food processor along with the almonds. Mince the garlic and add to the processor with the juice and grated zest of half an orange. Give it a whizz and then add the parmesan and start to drizzle in the oil until you get the consistency you prefer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into a small sterilised jar and cover with a tablespoon of olive oil to seel the top of the pesto from air and to keep that gorgeous green colour. Use within 3 days or store in the freezer for later use. Enjoy your carrot top pesto on pasta, slathered on to a baked potato, or as a tasty addition to a chicken salad sandwich.