How to use eggshells: 7 exceptional ideas

Boiled, fried, scrambled – there’s no doubt Britain loves eggs. But, are we showing egg shells the same amount of appreciation? Often overlooked, eggshells are surprisingly nutritious and strong, which makes them useful for a variety of things you may never have considered.

On a mission to stop shells from going to waste, Stephanie from Expert Home Tips is here to share 7 useful uses for eggshells.

1. Bird feed

Although humans may not enjoy the addition of eggshells to their meal, there are some fluffy creatures that will.

Eggshells are full of nutrients, specifically, calcium – an important mineral for birds, especially during the Spring when they lay eggs of their own.

Next time you’re cooking eggs, be sure to save the shells. When you have several, pop them on a lined baking tray next time you use the oven. This will soften the eggs shells so that they break more easily. Place the shells in a sealable bag, roll a glass over them to crush, and scatter on your bird table for your feathery friends to enjoy.

2. Mosaic frame

eggs3Smashed and broken with bit of egg remnants left inside – egg shells as we know them aren’t exactly the prettiest things in the world.

I’m challenging you to change the way you see eggshells by getting a little creative.

Egg shells make the most perfect mosaics – this Instructables mosaic frame is proof of that. All you need to make your very own mosaic frame is some cardboard, paint and eggshells –projects don’t come more eco-friendly than this!

3. Drain cleaner

If you live in a house, you’re almost guaranteed to have experienced blocked drains during your time. A free, natural solution can be made using leftover egg shells.

Next time you have a fry up, sprinkle some leftover egg shells into your sink strainer. They will help catch food, preventing it from blocking your drain. If the shells do break down and fall into the drain, their rough edges will actually help to flush out the pipes.

4. Banish slugs & snails

eggs1They may not mean any harm, but slugs and snails can be a nightmare for gardeners. There’s no need to turn to nasty, expensive pesticides – you can use leftover egg shells to tackle this problem.

Slugs and snails can happily slide over soft soil, but the sharp edges of broken egg shells will make it much more difficult – and unpleasant – for them.

To deter slugs and snails from your garden naturally, crush and sprinkle broken egg shells across soil.

5. Egg shell brownie

eggs2Eggs are one of the key ingredients in cake – why not try something new and try making egg-shaped cakes?

One of my favorite recipes using egg shells is La Receta De La Felicidad’s Brownies. The recipe itself is relatively simple, meaning you can concentrate on getting the egg shell part just right.

There’s no denying these would be perfect for Easter, but the results are so cute that they wouldn’t look amiss at any occasion.

6. Pot cleaner

It’s in the kitchen that the strong, sharpness of egg shells come in handy once more. Those tough, burnt on food stains on pots and pans are no match for egg shells.

Be sure to pop your gloves on in order to protect your hands, before taking a handful of broken eggshells and using them to scrub metal and glass pans clean.

7. Fertilizer

Among other nutrients, egg shells are very rich in calcium. This makes them highly beneficial for plants and a great, all-natural, DIY fertilizer you can use both outdoors and in.

To infuse water with these eggcellent benefits, boil a liter of water, then add 10 clean eggshells to it. Let it soak overnight, then strain the water. Pour directly onto soil to give your plants a boost of nutrients.

By Steph Cvetkovic

Contributor to http://www.experthometips.com

Mid week delicacy: Winter Chili

midweekdelicacy.veggiechili.superbowl.healthy.hearty.ingrid.cooking.recipe.sustainable.diet.saynotofoodwaste.2On cold, rainy and snowy days of winter, nothing adds heat and color like a warm bowl of chili. This week, Ingrid shows us how to make spicy 3 bean Winter Chili. It’s perfect when craving something hearty and healthy, as well as, when throwing gatherings at home. (Hint: Super bowl is coming up soon!)

Enjoy the dish and send us your photos so we can upload them on our Instagram account, or tag them with #saynotofoodwaste.

Happy cooking!
Hokuma & Ingrid

The change you want to see is YOU

discosoupe.discosoupedc.makesense.gangster.saynotofoodwaste.happy.share.sustainable2 Who hasn’t thought of changing the world, or at least impacting history in a memorable way? Many of us have grand ideas of change we want to see and make. But, the likeliness of us making those huge changes in a short time span is slim. Putting too much strain on ourselves and being weighed down by big dreams can be paralyzing. We might give up even before embarking on the journey.

The solution to that is: start small and start with yourself! As the world is made up of many individuals, many friendships and many communities, influencing one can have a ripple effect on the others. This is exactly what happened to me and how the journey of Disco Soupe DC materialized. I first heard about the amazing events through Tristram Stuart, author and founder of non-profits that addresses food waste and food security, through Feeding the 5k, The Pig Idea and The Gleaning Network.

Tristram was kind enough to connect me to social entrepreneurs and visionaries that took Disco Soupe events to another level. Some of these guys are even Gangsters and belong to a cool social entrepreneur network called MakeSense. One thing led to another and soon I was organizing Disco Soupe DC events in USA. Every city has its own group of activists that want to share their time, talents and ideas to help reshape their city into a small ecosystem of sustainability, love and understanding.

Organizations such as the DC Time Bank and The Sanctuaries provided the support and talent to make Disco Soupes amazing! And the networks Tristram introduced me to, jump-started a revolution in the nation’s capital! Today I am happy to share a feature of our event in a National Geographic video that highlights explorers, such as Tristram, who are changing our world for the better! I’m also happy to announce that on November 20th we will host the third Disco Soupe DC!

If you haven’t been to a Disco Soupe DC, or enjoyed the previous one and want to continue the party, then join us! Details will be coming soon. Follow them on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Change is possible guys, it starts with you!

Much love and many hugs,
Hokuma

USDA Steps Up to Tackle Food Waste

foodwastechallenge.usda.saynotofoodwaste.share.care.youth.organizations.usaThe United States has been trailing behind Europe when it comes to taking action against food waste, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has finally launched a national campaign to bring some much-needed attention to the issue. Food waste awareness in the U.S. seems to have been growing over the past couple of years, with organizations like Food Recovery Network rapidly expanding and individual states taking action; so the Food Waste Challenge could be the catalyst for more serious policy efforts on the issue.

The challenge is directed at every tier of the food chain, from growers and processors to supermarkets and schools, “to join the effort to reduce, recover, and recycle food waste” (USDA). The aim is to get 400 organizations by 2015 and 1,000 by 2020 to set their own food waste reduction goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them. For this, the EPA offers food waste assessment tools, so that participants can determine their current waste levels and costs and set targets accordingly. Other resources include the Waste Reduction Model, providing a general plan of action. The ease of access to these kinds of resources is crucial to make the challenge less daunting, encouraging participation by demonstrating that the issue is not ‘too big to handle.’

Naturally, the success of this project will be measured by the participant organizations’ ability to cut down their waste. Just as important as the actual reductions, though, is the establishment of food waste as a leading national issue. Even though the USDA won’t be able to track how many people hear about the project, every person that learns about food waste through the campaign is a potential waste-fighter. National publicity of the food waste problem will inevitably increase the number of people working against it, even if they don’t sign up for the challenge via an organization. Heightened public awareness will mean more Americans lobbying government agencies to institute anti-waste policy.

This step in the right direction could make a big difference. Well done, America.

Eva

Sources:

Food Waste Measurement Tools

Join the U.S. Food Waste Challenge

USDA and EPA Launch U.S. Food Waste Challenge

A man who gives healthy food for FREE

rob-greenfield-2Ever wished to eat a variety of exotic, organic and delicious food, for FREE? It may sound impossible, especially in a country like USA. But those who think so haven’t heard of Rob Greenfield. A young man, who at the age of 28 challenged status quo and led a food waste campaign on his bike.

His idea is straightforward. Travel from city to city on a bike, eat out of dumpsters and create a banquet at each stop, inviting locals to eat and take home free nutritious food. All the shared groceries were on their way to the landfill, until one man decided to do something about it. His innovative and simple campaign took the country by storm.

159Whether it’s the idea of free food, or simply shocking images of good quality produce being carelessly thrown away while 1 in 7 Americans go hungry, the idea struck a chord in people’s hearts and minds. This was such a successful campaign that Rob decided to do it a second time. The latest bike campaign will finish in New York City. To join the legendary man, take part in the campaign and get FREE groceries, be sure to attend his public banquet on Tuesday.

If the past week of climate change conferences, marches and meetings taught us something, it’s that our time to save our way of life is running out. To make a difference we must start now, with ourselves. We are responsible for wasting 40% of the food we grow, and all the natural resources that are used in the process. That needs to stop. What will your action be?

Is Most of the World’s Poor Choosing to Go Hungry?

Food.Poverty.FoodSecurity.FoodWaste.Health.Sustainable.SayNoToFoodWasteYou might be perplexed, even offended, by the loaded title of this post and think I’m insensitive to the plight of the impoverished. Well, I’m not. Rather, I am fascinated by the Abhijit Banerjee’s article that I had to read for my economics course. Banerjee, an Indian economist, discusses the idea of the poverty trap, specifically how it relates to food: the idea that undernourished people lack the strength to work, especially in labor, which prevents them from earning more money for food, etc. His conclusion is that the idea of the hunger-based poverty trap is probably inapplicable nowadays because most of the world’s poor have the means to eat. “What if the poor aren’t starving, but choosing to spend their money on other priorities?”

In the cheapest scenario, 21 cents – the poverty line is set at a one-dollar daily wage – should buy 2,400 calories every day. This affordable diet, however, would consist of only bananas and eggs, which no one would adhere to voluntarily. Furthermore, Banerjee goes on to describe how most people in poverty do not seem to use their money to buy as much food as they can. Instead, in studies where poor Chinese households were given rice and wheat subsidies, most participants did not take advantage by buying more of the subsidized food but rather spent their extra money on more luxurious products like meat. Nor do the poor seem to be concerned with food’s health effects: sugar, processed foods, and expensive grains are more popular than fresh vegetables and cereal grains. This might be the result of a lack of information, but I was more struck by another possible explanation. Like Hokuma, Banerjee discovered that the poor perceived nutritious food as unsatisfying and had a simple desire to indulge in ‘tastier’ food whenever they could. Additionally, many chose to spend their earnings in non-food ways, from purchasing comforts, like televisions, to funding cultural practices such as lavish weddings and dowries. Again, Banerjee finds that the poor want to treat themselves, to make their lives of poverty a little more enjoyable, because “they think that any change that is significant enough to be worth sacrificing for will simply take too long.”

Poverty.China.Aid.Help.Workers.Factory.Equality.FoodSecurity.SayNoToFoodWaste.Give.ShareIt is important to think of the world’s poor population as human beings with tastes and desires – not just bodies that need to be filled. I can eat whatever I want and vary my diet, which includes both nutritious salads and processed chocolates, to keep it exciting. No one wants to be forced to eat the same thing day in and day out, especially if it isn’t something he/she isn’t particularly fond of in the first place. It’s a little harder to empathize with the hungry when they aren’t spending their money on food, but, again, for many it is the choice to live rather than merely survive.

Humbled and slightly enlightened,

Eva Reynolds

Disco Soupe is the answer

forest.saynotofoodwaste.outdoor.happy.food.nofoodwaste.organic.community.together.I have some good news – there is a solution! But there’s also bad news – we got an obesity problem that keeps getting worse.

A recent BBC article stated that the number of obese individuals has surpassed 2.1 billion. That’s more than individuals facing hunger! Sadly, new research shows that: “Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. Urgent global action and leadership is needed to help countries to more effectively intervene.”

Seems that the world around is truly becoming one of, haves and have nots. Unfortunately, finding a solution to both problems is difficult, but not impossible. We just need stronger communities. Ones in which individuals don’t shy away from getting together with friends, and find in-person interaction more rewarding than text or Facebook messaging. Or, as the new ad on the left shows (spotted by me yesterday), a world where kids prefer their friends rather than their TVs.

discosoupe.saynotofoodwaste.organic.sustainable.healthy.happy.communitySo regarding the good news, I have a solution! More Disco Soupes DC! Yes, an event that not only helps address the have and have nots issue, an event that not only links surplus food from supermarkets to people in need, but one that makes getting together fun!

With only a small 3 hour commitment, with live local music and upbeat environment, this is the solution to the obesity problem (ok, one of the solutions)! Healthy food, a fun atmosphere, a feeling of belonging and making a difference! What can be better? I’m not sure, you tell me.

But to make this a reality for all, we need more individuals talking about such grassroots initiatives. Too many times I witnessed brilliant ideas get overlooked because they didn’t come from a famous or popular source. So my challenge to you, dear reader, is to help find amazing local organizations, companies and events that help address vital issues locally and globally, and support them! Join them, spread their message and help build a better world!

Yes, you! You can help create a better world. Just give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is. =)

With much love!
Hokuma