Food waste is a real problem! In Switzerland, a third of all food produced goes to waste. At the top of the list are fresh vegetables, potatoes and bread, with throwaway rates of 63, 61 and 56 per cent. Most waste occurs in private households. Source: foodwaste.ch. Help to reduce food wastage rates by trying out the following tips.
Tip 1 – Keep a record of your waste
Head chef Reto Vögeli and his team at the Hotel Belvoir in Rüschlikon conducted a detailed analysis of their food waste for a month as part of a pilot project organised by United Against Waste. The continuous detailed analysis made it clear where improvements could be made, according to Vögeli. Every evening, each employee knew exactly what had gone in the bin and how much it cost. Awareness is the key – it makes you think twice about what you’re doing and, as a result, the hotel reduced its food waste by a third over the test period.
Beauty never goes to waste: the stunning view from the Hotel Belvoir in Rüschlikon.
Tip 2 – Be tolerant when shopping
When it comes to fruit and vegetables, we are all guilty of being overcritical consumers. As a result, the retail industry implements quality standards which are overly concerned with external appearance. For example, apples which are too small or irregularly shaped are rejected. We can all help in this regard by being less picky when we’re out shopping.
Tip 3 – Plan your meals
Reto Vögeli’s advice is to
plan your meals! Even when you’re cooking at home, draw up a meal plan and leave gaps specifically for using up leftover food. Having a plan also helps you to rein yourself in when shopping, so you only buy what you actually need. This means you don’t have to store the food for as long and less of it will go off.
Tip 4 – Create recipes
Reto Vögeli says:
“Always weigh the products. How many grams of spaghetti should I cook for my family so everyone has enough and nothing is left over? Around 100 g per person is right for spaghetti.”
Tip 5 – Store things properly
Set your fridge to the right temperature. Always cover food properly or wrap it up carefully. Keeping food well ordered in the fridge will help you to keep track of things: what needs to be cooked and eaten soon? Modern, high-quality fridges are well lit and have special compartments for frequently stored food. Take apples, for example: they carry on ripening after they have been picked. The FreshControl zone, with high humidity and temperatures just over 0°C, puts apples into a kind of “deep sleep” so they stay fresh for much longer. When used with low humidity, this zone can also optimise the shelf life of meat, fish, poultry and sausages/cold meats.
An article featuring tips on the best way to organise your fridge
Tip 6 – Ask your baker
Reto Vögeli has a tip:
“In private households, you always end up with bread that gets old and has to be thrown away. Ask your baker if he or she can make half-baked rolls for you so you can freeze them. You can then finish baking them when you need them.”
Our combi-steam cookers with the professional baking programme are perfect for bread that tastes just like it came from the baker’s. The operating mode is a combination of steam and hot air. It is perfect for all pastries, among other things. Loaves and bread rolls rise wonderfully, develop a delicious shiny crust and stay fresh for longer.
A spot of self-promotion:
Product tip: The professional baking programme
Tip 7 – Reheat meals
Andreas Caminada has rediscovered the joys of soup at home:
“It’s the perfect way to get into cooking. And you can reheat it – soup still tastes really good the second time round.” (Schweiz am Sonntag newspaper, 11.10.14)
And if reheating is good enough for the V-ZUG ambassador and Switzerland’s most successful chef, it must be good enough for us mere mortals as well! With a bit of imagination and technical prowess, you can achieve excellent results.
All of our V-ZUG combi-steam cookers are equipped with a RegenerateOmatic function. With this function, food can be heated without having to set an operating mode, temperature or time. The quantity and shape of the food are recognised and the regeneration time and cooking space climate are adjusted individually and automatically. The degree of moisture during the cooking process is crucial. You can choose from two options. “Regenerate moist” is for foods that should not dry out, such as vegetables, meat or pasta. “Regenerate crispy” is for foods that are best when crispy, such as pizza, flans, aperitif nibbles, etc.
Product tip: The V-ZUG RegenerateOmatic
Tip 8 – Magic something up from the fridge
Martin Auf der Maur, V-ZUG head chef and director of the ZUGORAMA exhibition, shared the following recipe with us to celebrate Apple Day 2015: “Älplermagronen” (similar to macaroni cheese) with Swiss apples! Simply take some uncooked pasta and then have a look at what there is in the fridge: vegetables, onions, garlic. Mix everything in with the pasta and add some bacon or ham if you have it, then add a sufficient amount of liquid (stock or cream) and some cheese, place it in the steam cooker and steam with hot air. And, of course, don’t forget to add some slices of apple and, if you have it, apple juice or water with honey. And there you have it: “Älplermagronen” with apple slices. It’s an easy dish that you can rustle up in no time in our combi-steam cooker. And the great thing is that you don’t need to pre-cook the pasta – the liquid in the dish ensures that it cooks perfectly with the combination of hot air and steam.
Martin Auf der Maur, our V-ZUG chef and director of ZUGORAMA in Zug, preparing “Älplermagronen” and other apple dishes. The “Älplermagronen” section starts at 1:45 minutes.
Tip 9 – Build up your stocks
Seasonal cooking is a good idea, and is also very much in vogue. That’s why chefs work with essences and their own preserves in the winter months. The traditional process of preserving is also a way of revitalising supposedly surplus food. Take jam, for example. Here are a few suggestions for preserves…
Tip 10 – Vacuum-pack unprepared or pre-cooked ingredients
Vacuum-packing is an ideal way to store food: compared to other preservation methods, vacuum-packed food keeps longer and better – whether it is raw or pre-cooked.
The vacuum drawer can be used for a number of different purposes in day-to-day life: on the one hand, you can use it to vacuum-pack unprepared or pre-cooked ingredients for storage. On the other hand, you can cook your vacuum-packed meals in your combi-steam cooker. This cooking method is known as sous vide cooking – also known as Vacuisine at V-ZUG – and involves cooking meals in vacuum bags slowly at low temperatures.