"The vast majority of Australians are unaware that when discarded food rots in landfill, it gives off methane, a greenhouse gas that's 25 times more potent than the carbon pollution that comes out of your car exhaust."Some people will believe anything, no matter how far-fetched. It was a hot afternoon and I’d been sitting on the beach reading a Clive Cussler novel, wading through a scene in which a sociopathic mass murderer has been imprisoned, and the only way the author could possibly plot him free is by having him bribe the jail governor and he goes right ahead and does exactly that. I threw the book down on the sand and picked up the newspaper instead and read the story containing the paragraph above. Talk about drawing a long bow. So I threw the paper down again and went back to the Cussler. Sorry, Clive. At least the story was entertaining and featured a Mercedes Simplex in full flight.
But wait a minute, I thought later. Rotting food isn’t the only methane emitter. What about farmed animals? I could see the offset scheme already: for every kilogram of leftover food that you send to landfill, you can pay someone to kill a cow. Maybe the most environment-friendly thing you could do is order the biggest steak in the house and not leave a mouthful on the plate. Save the world by eating the cow out of existence. Hello, Vlado’s. Cut me a large one and cook it rare. Stoves emit carbon.
Having said all of that, I don’t like wasting food any more than the next person. But purely for economic reasons, not for today’s tortuously moral relativistic ones. Or should that be torturously? Probably both.
So here’s a recipe to satisfy the high priests of the lobby groups – both in terms of appetite as well as moral judgment.
What to do with leftover mash.
Take two cups of left-over mashed potato, half a cup of Greek yogurt, two square inch cubes of good feta cheese, one 85g tin of tuna in olive oil, two cloves of garlic, and a couple of crushed dried oregano leaves. Place the lot in a blender with a good dash of salt and pepper to taste. Blitz for ten seconds. Pour into a large bowl, if it will pour, or spoon it. Chill, sprinkle with olive oil and shards of olives, and serve to dip with two-inch sections of split spring onion, fine lengths of carrot, thins strips of red capsicum, quickly-boiled asparagus or any of your favourite crudités. Or spread some on squares of pasta dura bread and top with a sardine. Or just stand at the fridge and eat it out of the bowl.