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Root-to-Fruit Cooking: Save Money and Reduce Waste!

September 2023

Jennifer Taylor, RDN, CHES
FCHS Educator, Passaic County

Have you noticed that increasing food costs are affecting everyone? The cost of food for home purchase rose 11.4% in 2022 and there was a 5.8% increase in May of this year compared to last year. The US Department of Agriculture expects prices to continue this trend through the rest of the year.

How can you make the most of your food budget? Try Root-to-Fruit cooking, the plant-based version of the Nose-to-Tail movement. This method encourages using all edible parts of plants, some commonly thought of as scraps, to ensure your produce purchase goes further. Following Root-to-Fruit principles will also reduce food waste by minimizing what you throw away.

Not all parts of plants however, are safe to eat! For example, tomato and potato leaves, stems, and sprouts are toxic. While rhubarb stems are edible, the leaves are poisonous. Be cautious when starting out with Root-to-Fruit cooking and confirm what you are using is safe to eat.

Here are some simple ways to get started with Root-to-Fruit cooking. First, always remember to wash all your produce well!