Welcome to NourishbyNumbers, a grassroots social initiative to help make better, more sustainable food choices. In this edition – one of my favourite ways to reduce food waste.
Better Food = Healthy Planet
Make Curry Not War
There’s a reason billions of people eat curry every day. Actually there are many reasons but first and foremost, curry forgives. Always.
Curry is a generic word for any dish which has a richly spiced sauce and is cooked with meat and/or vegetables. It is usually eaten with rice but may also be accompanied by flatbread like roti, naan or parantha. In the age of paleo and keto, it may even be eaten over a pile of lettuce. I don’t judge. The dish has travelled nations and continents, from Thailand and Malaysia and India to England and even far-reaches of Canada.
This dish has been tweaked and tasted by billions of households around the world, and somehow there is never one set recipe. Every family and community has its own version.
My favourite recipes are here and here. The foundational ingredients are often onions, ginger and garlic with some liquid often coconut milk. This dish makes a great carrier for other herbs and spices turmeric in particular along with basil or coriander.
With all these ingredients and flavours making curry may feel overwhelming. But the one thing that brings it all together is that curry forgives.
Curry is the one dish that is open to interpretation and experimentation. And though many have tried, it is very, very difficult to ruin a curry.
What Can You Do?
Make curry. Consider recipes as guidelines and add in ingredients that you like. Use vegetables that may be bruised and wilted. It doesn’t matter they will become flavourful and wholesome once they go into the pot of curry. Imperfect produce is perfect for a curry. The pursuit of perfection in our lives and even in our kitchens has driven farmers to grow and harvest only perfect looking fruits and vegetables, leaving behind piles of produce resulting in so much food waste. More on this later. But in the meanwhile make curry. You can add in dodgy looking carrots and bruised tomatoes and wilted spinach. It’s a culture shift to reach for the ugly vegetable but your planet will thank you. Your farmer will too.
One Last Thing: Recently I was invited to watch Before the Plate documentary that took us behind the scenes into the journey of food before it ends up on our plate. It helped me not only see the effort that goes into growing our food but also what happens when farmers are forced to adapt to changing consumer behaviour. Watch the movie.