A Conversation with Zsa Zsa Soffe - Compass Group Communications Manager

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What’s your take on all the attention food waste is getting lately? 

I think it’s long overdue. It’s great that we’re seeing a focus on such an important topic.  I grew up on a farm in Zimbabwe where we were very self-sufficient--picking vegetables daily from our garden. Not much ever went to waste.  Plus, I’ve seen extreme poverty in countries like Zimbabwe and India where many survive on just one meagre (meager) meal a day.  As someone who loves to cook, I am acutely aware of the waste I sometimes create so I am trying every day to turn this awareness into tangible action to reduce my own food wastage.  Working for Compass Group has given me that added push! 

What are your best tips to make it easy to reduce food waste in the kitchen? 

Don’t buy too much! Check your shelves and your fridge and make a list before going to the supermarket.  Don’t get carried away ordering groceries online that you don’t need. Also, consider all parts of the vegetable – most of the bits we throw away are perfectly edible, contain fiber and other nutrients, and are actually delicious.  Keep the leaves from celery and add them to a soup or stew for extra flavour (flavor). Make a pesto using the fronds and stems of a fennel plant. I could go on… 

What is one small change every person can make in their daily lives to make a big difference? 

Put on your plate only what you know you can finish.  

What is your favorite way to repurpose leftovers? 

I love turning leftover rice into a tasty new meal.  When I have leftover cooked rice, the next day I fry off onions, garlic and whatever vegetables I have in the fridge – peppers, celery, carrots, mushrooms, fennel. I add touch of chili – add some fresh chopped tomatoes. Then the rice and lots of fresh herbs and seasoning and bingo: I have another tasty and healthy meat-free meal-- equally yummy eaten cold as a packed lunch.