Some of these food parts actually taste good and have a ton of nutritional value.

By Stacey Leasca
Updated March 12, 2019
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Just a few days ago, on a warm Southern California day, I set out to harvest the Brussels sprouts I so diligently planted in the late fall. The tiny and delicious bulbs had sprung to life, beckoning to be plucked from the stalk and sauteed into something yummy. But, as I cut back the overgrown green leaves that protected the itsy bitsy Brussels, I thought to myself, “Man, this is a lot of greenery to go to waste.”

So, instead of putting the leaves in my composter, I hit Google and found out that Brussels sprout leaves are damn delicious and nutritious.

Very little is written about the leaves that accompany the small green vegetable that Americans are obsessed with. Though I did find one thing: A short blurb on the Food Network’s site saying you can bake them or saute them as you would collard greens.

Edible Food Parts You're Throwing Out

I got to work, picking, cleaning, and cutting the leaves. I sprinkled on some garlic and onion powder, along with a few secret spices that will be taken to my grave with me (this is my discovery, sorry I’m not sharing it), and popped them in the oven at 425 for 20 minutes. What emerged was a crispy, garlicky treat that most certainly rivaled expensive kale chips.

And that got me thinking—what else am I wasting? It turns out I am wasting a lot. And so are you.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year is wasted. That accounts for approximately 1.3 billion tons of food. Worst of all, fruits and vegetables—all the healthy things we should be consuming—have the highest wastage rates of any food.

It’s time we change that. Here are seven food parts—like the mighty Brussels spout leaf—you should be eating instead of wasting.

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