Waste Not, Want Not

Ways to use common food waste…not one crumb left behind 😉

(most all food waste goes to the chickens…and all other waste, including animal waste, gets composted.)

  • Egg Shells – I save them in a big tupperware container in the fridge and when it is full I pour them all out onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 300F for about 30 minutes.  Once they have cooled I then dump the whole thing outside on the ground near the chicken coop and have the kids crush them all under foot, the chickens will then eat the baked shells (it takes a few days for them to eat them all) and recycle the calcium in the shells to make new shells for new eggs.
  • Banana Peels – I buy organic bananas and feed the peels to the goats, they love them!  Rabbits also love banana peels and chickens will eat them too if you cut them up first.
  • Used Coffee Grounds – When I first tried feeding this to the chickens they didn’t quite know what to make of it, but then I think they figured out that it gives them energy!  Now when I give them food scraps the coffee grounds are gone first!  Even chickens have the capacity to love caffeine….I wonder if it makes the eggs caffeinated though?? 😉  I also feed them the used tea from inside the tea bags, just cut the top off and flip the tea bad inside out.  You can also add used coffee grounds directly to the garden, beets especially love coffee grounds.
  • Potato Peels – Goats and Rabbits don’t like em’ but Chickens will eat them, but only if you give them to them when they are really hungry…I tend to give food scraps (chickens are omnivores so you can give them any ol’ thing, just like a dog)  in the morning when they are hungriest, then they forage all day and then I give them a bit of feed before they go to bed at night.
  • Citrus Peels – I make homemade citrus cleaner out of them!  My goats will also eat them 🙂
  • Old Used Frying Oil – We usually use peanut oil or refined coconut oil for deep frying foods and when the oil starts getting yucky and needing replaced, I take a couple of scoops of chicken feed (layer crumbles, this won’t work with pellets) and put it in the oil and let it sit until the oil is all soaked up by the feed and then I give it to the chickens. I do the same thing with leftover whey from cheese-making too.
  • Chicken Guts – When I slaughter a chicken, I throw the guts into the creek, downstream from the house, the crayfish love em’! I  Also plan to use chicken guts to bait the crayfish trap we bought recently…
  • A Poor Crop – Goats and Rabbits love ANY green thing…when I have a crop that has been bug eatin’ beyond repair or a crop that is diseased or it just ain’t living up to my standards, I tear ALL of it out and feed it to the goats.  Goats also love  corn stalks, pea vines, bean plants…any green thing!  When my herbs get to tall and big and out of control, I cut them severely back and make an “herb salad” for the goats…rabbits love “herb salad” too!
  • Leftover Chicken Carcass – After we have eaten a chicken and I have picked off all the meat and used the bones for broth, simmering the broth until the bones are soft and falling apart, I then take these soft bones and mash them up a bit and feed them to the cats…dogs like it too!  I also do this with bones from our grass fed beef farmer friends or from goats that we have slaughtered.
  • Leftover Milk – When 2 does are in milk it equals out to about 1 gallon of milk a day produced.  At the end of the day, if I’m not making cheese, I give whatever milk is leftover to the cats.  It’s no biggie since I know I’m just going to have another whole gallon to use tomorrow!  This saves money on cat food since our raw goat’s milk is A LOT cheaper to produce than it is to buy cat food…and it’s healthier for the cats too!
  • Children’s Food Crumbs – At the end of the day, after dinner, I sweep up three meals of accumulated food crumbs off the floor under the dining table and dump it outside by the chicken coop…the chickens gobble it up in about 10 seconds!
  • Leftover Bits of Stuff in Bottles – When I have just a tiny bit of mustard left, or just a tiny bit of ketchup left, or just a tiny bit of any condiment left (except mayo, we make our own)….I save it in the fridge to use in homemade chili, or baked beans, or tacos or anything that is heavily seasoned.  I just add a bit of water to the bottle, shake it up real good and then dump the “condiment water” into whatever I am making that will be complimented by that taste.  Yeah, folks I am THAT cheap! LOL 😀

If you’ve any good tips to avoid food waste please share in the comments section…I’m always looking for new ideas and would love to hear them!

3 thoughts on “Waste Not, Want Not

  1. You know, I really hadn’t thought about that before… peanut oil would probably not be very good, but coconut oil would probably work if combined with an animal fat like lard or beef tallow…but the oil would have to be filtered through very fine cheesecloth or something similar to remove all the bits of food….but I think that it would work with the coconut oil. I just might try that out some time… thanks for the idea! 🙂

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