beauty in the discarded parts

romaine scraps in white kitchen sink

I’ve been photographing food scraps (and other items) in my kitchen sink since the beginning of the year. I love the beautiful colours and patterns that the discarded food makes. Occasionally as a cook, I also appreciate the culinary value of the parts of vegetables that we normally throw out. Lately I’ve been purposefully incorporating more stems, hulls, hearts and roots into my meals, as a way of honouring all the edible parts of the plants that cross my kitchen counter.

What kinds of things am I talking about? Things like strawberry hulls – I keep them on the berries, and eat them along with the fruit. (A friend of mine tells me that her Native friends say the hulls are very nutritious and beneficial.)

Things like snow pea stems. I eat snow peas whole in my daily salads.

Things like celery and romaine hearts. I eat the entire stem end, unless it’s too brown or rusty coloured.

Things like purslane roots. I chop them up along with the leaves and stems, and eat them in salads.

Do you find beauty or value in the things that others might throw away? What kinds of discarded beauty do you love?

purslane 3