The art of pickling: a step to reduce food waste
Possibilities are limitless when it comes to pickling. From cucumbers and onions, to ginger and even hot chili peppers. All of these vegetables and more can be pickled. Through this preservation process, food gets crunchy, sour and salty, adding a special flavor to any dish. Besides representing a great culinary experience, did you know that pickling is a zero waste practice you can start doing at home?
What is pickling?
Pickling is a way of preserving food that consists of extending the life of the food (usually vegetables) through the process of marinating them in brine (a solution of salt and liquid with a very high salinity content). The process basically consists of submerging vegetables in the brine (there are many ways you can create it, but the main ingredients are water, vinegar, and spices) and let vegetables soak up the brine over time (minimum 48 hours) until they’re ready to be eaten.
There are many methods you can use to pickle vegetables, it’s all about experimenting and finding your best fit. But besides the versatility of flavors you can reach by pickling, I would say that the greatest advantage of pickling is that vegetables can be kept this way for months! So if you don’t know what to do with a vegetable that has been in your fridge for some weeks, maybe it’s time to try pickling! This way, you could avoid food waste and at the same time, have some food ready to eat for a long time.
Is pickling a zero waste alternative?
Anyone can make this process from home and turn it into a zero waste experience. How? Let me tell you.
- First of all you have to ensure that the vegetables you use are not packed in plastic or any other unnecessary wrap material. You can start by buying the vegetables from your closest local market, zero waste shop or farm.
- Next step is easy. You have to get some reusable glass jars. Either you reuse them from another product or maybe you buy some of them with the aim of making them last long! Clip-top jars are great for pickling (and for the planet!). You can find them in the Ekoto online shop in many sizes.
Taking into account these 2 considerations, pickling is a very simple zero waste action you can start putting into practice. Why not try this method next time?