A couple of years ago I learned that 40 percent of the food in the United States goes uneaten — more than 20 pounds per person every month. According to the NRDC, reducing that waste by just 15 percent could feed more than 25 million Americans every year, no small feat when one in six Americans is unsure of where their next meal is coming from.
With that in mind, I have challenged myself to eat what I may previously have tossed in the trash or composting buckets. Beet greens now get sautéed, mushroom stems get turned into soup stock, and squash seeds get dried and toasted.
A few weeks ago, as I was enjoying the first watermelon of the season, I recalled eating watermelon rind pickles as a child. They came from the grocery store in tall, skinny glass bottles and, because they were expensive, they were a once or twice a year treat. I loved them.
This resurrected memory prompted me to ask myself why I was throwing out the rind. Why wasn’t I turning it into the beloved pickles of my childhood? After trying a recipe sent to me by a friend, I know I’ll never make that mistake again. Eating “garbage” can be indescribably delicious!