Waste Not Stem-to-Root Veggie Eating


Waste less food and save more money with the root to stem cooking method

Video taken from the channel: Cityline


10 Vegetables You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps to Create a Recurring Harvest

Video taken from the channel: Mary’s Nest


Here are 5 ingenious ways to try out ‘root-to-stem’ cooking while reducing food waste.

Video taken from the channel: The Better India


Regrow Vegetables from Scraps in Water | 4 Fool Proof Veggies & How We Eat Them | Frugal Living

Video taken from the channel: The Frugal Minimalist


Pesto That’s Not Made From Basil | Eating Trash

Video taken from the channel: Lifehacker


Growing trend to eat everything from root to stem

Video taken from the channel: ABC7 News Bay Area


KALE STEMS 3 WAYS How To Reduce Food Waste with Sarah Saper #FoodWasteFriday

Video taken from the channel: Bri Healthy

Here’s how to waste not, want not and eat healthfully — from stem to root. 1 TAKE (AND MAKE) STOCK There isn’t a rule or special recipe required to make great vegetable stock. Eat down the leek. Actually, the tougher parts of veggies like leeks, asparagus, and broccoli are good for gut bacteria. As a general rule, eat a little further down the stalks and stems.

Fully utilizing our fresh produce is referred to as cooking or eating in a stem-to-root fashion. It’s not a new concept. Our ancestors saved peels and skins to simmer in stock and served greens as side dishes.

But in recent years, our time-crunched culture sometimes opts for convenience regardless of waste. But when only using part of the vegetables in a dish, food is wasted and opportunities to add flavor and nutrition are missed. Many times there are more nutrients contained in the skin/peel of a vegetable than in the vegetable itself! (Check out all the stem-to-root. When prepping our homegrown vegetables, most folks trim their produce removing the leaves, greens and skins. In some cases, that is a whole lot of waste.

Using the whole plant can practically double your harvest. The practice of using every part of a plant is called stem to root gardening and results in gardening without waste. All vegetables are good to eat, but many parts of those vegetable plants may be even better.

Stem to Root Harvesting Eating all parts of a plant is a common practice in Asia and Africa, and it’s called harvesting “stem to root.”. Root to stem eating is the perfect way to stretch your food budget and cut food waste. You may not realize that you’re throwing away some tasty and healthy food! From the greens on your turnips to the seeds of your melons, there are some terrific ways to make the most of all that great produce.

Here are more than 40 ideas for eating root to stem!Go “Stem-To-Root” Instead of throwing away the unused parts of your food, find a way to incorporate them into other dishes. For example, use the stalks and skins of fruits and vegetables to create a new side or puree for a dish. You can also use leftover meat and bones to create a delicious soup broth or gravy. The idea of utilizing secondary edible parts of plants and veggies is a common practice in Africa and Asia; food waste is much higher in Europe and North America.

This practice is referred to as “stem to root” and has actually been a Western philosophy, but not recently. Start a stockpile of vegetable castaways to use in a homemade vegetable broth. “Cauliflower or broccoli stems usually get thrown out, but I freeze them and make a sauce later,” says Spike Mendelsohn, D.C., restaurateur and chef.Just sauté some onion and garlic in olive oil, add the stems, and cook them down.

List of related literature:

Moreover, the waste from the fruit processing is really not a waste but a useful by-product or a resource material.

“Postharvest Technology of Fruits and Vegetables: General concepts and principles” by L. R. Verma, Dr. V. K. Joshi
from Postharvest Technology of Fruits and Vegetables: General concepts and principles
by L. R. Verma, Dr. V. K. Joshi
Indus Publishing Company, 2000

It is assumed that the waste treated at the plant is source-separated household waste of high quality with a water content of 70 % including food waste, used kitchen tissue and flower cuttings.

“Solid Waste Technology and Management” by Thomas Christensen
from Solid Waste Technology and Management
by Thomas Christensen
Wiley, 2011

This practice will meet the requirement of organic matter and nutrients needed for plant growth at a low cost, whilst enabling controlled disposal of wastes on a nonedible crop (Pierzynski et al. 1994).

“Phytoremediation Potential of Bioenergy Plants” by Kuldeep Bauddh, Bhaskar Singh, John Korstad
from Phytoremediation Potential of Bioenergy Plants
by Kuldeep Bauddh, Bhaskar Singh, John Korstad
Springer Singapore, 2017

In the UK we waste approximately 50,000 tonnes of orange juice each year—reducing household waste and improving the efficiency of water and fertiliser use on farms stand out as ways to cut the carbon footprint of orange juice.

“Climate-Smart Food” by Dave Reay
from Climate-Smart Food
by Dave Reay
Springer International Publishing, 2019

Spoilage microorganisms also can enter plant tissues during fruit development, either through the calyx (flower end) or along the stem, or through various specialized water and gas exchange structures of leafy matter.

“Compendium of the Microbiological Spoilage of Foods and Beverages” by Michael P. Doyle, William H. Sperber
from Compendium of the Microbiological Spoilage of Foods and Beverages
by Michael P. Doyle, William H. Sperber
Springer New York, 2009

This method is instrumental in reducing the risk of environmental degradation of the soil by conversion of organic waste to compost that can be utilized safely.

“Sustainable Waste Management Challenges in Developing Countries” by Pariatamby, Agamuthu, Shahul Hamid, Fauziah, Bhatti, Mehran Sanam
from Sustainable Waste Management Challenges in Developing Countries
by Pariatamby, Agamuthu, Shahul Hamid, Fauziah, Bhatti, Mehran Sanam
IGI Global, 2019

This waste may be composted separately for bioenergy crop production.

“Bioenergy: Biomass to Biofuels” by Anju Dahiya
from Bioenergy: Biomass to Biofuels
by Anju Dahiya
Elsevier Science, 2014

Fruits and vegetable wastes have also been used as substrates to produce microbial enzymes.

“Byproducts from Agriculture and Fisheries: Adding Value for Food, Feed, Pharma and Fuels” by Benjamin K. Simpson, Alberta N. Aryee, Fidel Toldrá
from Byproducts from Agriculture and Fisheries: Adding Value for Food, Feed, Pharma and Fuels
by Benjamin K. Simpson, Alberta N. Aryee, Fidel Toldrá
Wiley, 2019

Since about 5% of the water absorbed by plants is fixed in the plants and the remaining about 95% is either transpired from the leaves or drained somewhere without being absorbed by the roots, the WUE for irrigation to the greenhouse is 0.05 or lower.

“Smart Plant Factory: The Next Generation Indoor Vertical Farms” by Toyoki Kozai
from Smart Plant Factory: The Next Generation Indoor Vertical Farms
by Toyoki Kozai
Springer Singapore, 2018

The composting of these biodegradable organics is already widely applied in regions where this waste fraction (the vegetable, fruit, and garden waste or bio-waste) is selectively collected.

“Basic Biotechnology” by Colin Ratledge, Bjorn Kristiansen
from Basic Biotechnology
by Colin Ratledge, Bjorn Kristiansen
Cambridge University Press, 2001

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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  • hi Mary:)
    nice to meet you:) and what a great video this is, very helpful and handy to know… I found it all very interesting:)
    just wondered if you could grow sprouts? cauliflower, Brocolli, I love those vegetables, any advice or even a video on how to grow them would be great, and very much appreciated, thank you in advance:)
    thank you for sharing all of this, its great, keep up the great videos love it and you explain things so clearly and easy to follow:)
    I am going to watch how you plant them now lol….thank you:)
    have a nice day:)
    stay safe and well:)

  • Hi Sweet Friends, Here is the link to the follow up video when I take you into my garden: https://youtu.be/H-yG-mFk03I

    Be sure to head over to my main channel page where I share lots of playlists of videos that I think you will enjoy. Here is the link: https://YouTube.com/MarysNest

    Today, I am sharing 10 Vegetables You Can Regrow from Kitchen Scraps to Create a Recurring Harvest. This Kitchen Scraps Garden will create a No Waste Kitchen.

    0:00 Introduction
    1:23 Potatoes
    2:49 Ginger
    4:36 Celery
    8:02 Carrot Greens
    9:03 Onions and Garlic
    13:14 Fennel
    14:41 Leafy Greens
    16:16 Cabbage
    17:45 Beets
    18:53 Herbs
    21:30 Two Week Later
    21:40 Sweet Potato Discussion
    22:13 Update and Review

    And here are a list of related videos I think you will enjoy:

    Thrifty Recipes for Cooking with Scraps: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLkRuW3pBo2U0Uc9r7s9UcgkrnRXAM9riz
    The Secret to Crisp Fermented Pickles: https://youtu.be/9p1BzBbV6qs
    • How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut: https://youtu.be/EO90h3xB3oc
    • How to Make Fermented Giardiniera Italian Pickle Relish: https://youtu.be/u71D0bLp64I
    • How to Make Fermented Salsa: https://youtu.be/kiBbLCfbRzI

    And be sure to visit my sweet YouTube friends:

    • Rob at Eassyons Family Garden: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5I86nDx8QvkKeVtxk2l9vg
    • Heidi at Rain Country Homestead: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6LntleHjrsHuh4QJmiVjNw
    • Elissa at Moat Cottage Homestead: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz9-jbVYlkb6E6sL_XRjxBg
    • Bill and Elizabeth at Live Simple, Live Free: https://www.youtube.com/user/kellerent

    Don’t forget to open the description under the video and scroll down till you see “BLOG POST”. There will be a link there that will take you directly to the BLOG POST on my website that accompanies this video. Depending on what type of device you are watching the video on…To open the description under video, click the words “SHOW MORE”, or the title of the video, or the small downward pointing triangle arrow to the right of the video title. And of these should open the description.

    Thanks for watching! Love, Mary

  • The celery i have grown from store bought is a huge plant but I noticed when tasting a few they seem bitter? When do I cut to use for salads_

  • Wow this amazing can’t wait to try Wendy as I am self isolating in the uk so great ideas to start my veg. Quick question I have lavender growing outside I got this as herb when I ordered some herbs online so any ideas what I can do with it? Thank you.

  • Mary, love your videos! I have been regrowing scraps for a couple weeks now and love it! Is it possible to just continue to regrow without using soil? Im thinking along prepper terms….in the winter. I have some full spectrum grow lights Im using right now. Also, are there any certain nutrients we should use if we replant in soil? I have a large container with soil and nutrients specifically for potatos that I want to use but am thinking maybe just put my potatoes only in this and start a fresh one for the lettuces, etc. Thx!

  • Thank you Mary! I love your instructions and explanations. I’ve been a cook all my life, but then became disabled and forgot how to do some things. Most of my family that taught me how to cook has crossed over. I’m so grateful to you, you have know idea how important you have become in my kitchen. I feel as if I’ve inherited a new sweet sister. All I can say is God Bless and Thank You! ��

  • thanks for this tips and ideas! I always regrow my scallions/ onion chives in water.. but it only lasts 3 weeks in water.. without sunlight only artificial lights.. I will try to transfer it in soil

  • Hi Mary, I’m a new viewer and loving your videos. I’m watching your video on regrowing veggies from scraps Do they have to be organic and heirloom or just any veggies from the store? Thank you and God bless Miss Maggie from Spavinaw OK

  • Just wanted to give you a shout out Mary from New Hamshire. I’ve worked in kitchens most of my life and have learned many things, but I must say that I really enjoyed your video on how the make different extracts from different fruits. With winter coming in a few short months, I will be making my own extracts because I do a lot of cooking and baking for my family and friends. They all say to me, Uncle Bob how much such and such do I need? It usually ends up with me cooking a big meal for everybody. Dear lady. I will be viewing as many of your videos that I can when time permits. Also, if you could post something that would be healthful for cancer patients of which I am one, would be very helpful indeed. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the rest of us. God bless and have a wonderful day.

  • THANK U VERY INFORMATIVE! since quarantine, prices became higher for produce! So i’m gonna try this and teach my grandma too �� love from Philippines!

  • Your voice is very soothing. Your video is very nice and I will try it in case the lockdown continues. I want to avoid the stores as much as possible. I subscribed.

  • With the holiday season coming up very soon, could you do a video and water bath canning sweet potatoes or yams?
    Sometimes I just run out of time and am forced to pull out tin cans of “yams” from the pantry. YUCK I really don’t like the tin can taste of those! Thanks!

  • Hi, I had been able to sprout almost all of these vegetables just about the way you are demonstrating it, however my frustration starts after I planted it in the dirt. They don’t keep on growing as beautiful as before and then they die on me. I need some help please.

  • I’ve put a slice of tomato �� directly into soil to start my tomato plants. Takes awhile so you want to start them early. I put them in a pot not the ground until they’re at least 6 inches and it’s warmer outside. I’ve done many of these vegetables already but not sure how to do the cilantro. Do I just stick the stem in water?

  • Great video Ms Mary, wow, how much waste goes into my bin. That’s incredible. I shall be following your tips closely.
    I’ve just subscribed. Greetings from Cumbria in the UK.
    Stay safe and well.

  • This is really cool, I live in a room so my window is my garden space. I grow avocado plants, and because the air in my room gets very dry, I’m finding that leaving them grow in water is making the leaves grow much faster and don’t dry out, not like if they we’re growing in soilI’ve thrown out too many plants because of the air. ��
    Greetings from NYC!!������

  • Hi, I have begun growing some veggies myself using hydroponics. It is so much fun to see them grow. I have romaine lettuce, garlic, basil, carrots, yellow onion, and scallion. Thanks for sharing.

  • I grew sweet potatoes just like white potatoes, I just cut and put directly into ground. You can take cuttings and keep alive all year till next planting season. They are very vibrant and pretty long growing greenery.

  • What a beautiful person you are! Your first apron reminds me of an OLD Ironstone bowl I found in my 1930’s home when I was rebuilding it. Now,… get a pumpkin, some mice, and a wand and say “Bibbity Bobbity Boo!” 😉

  • Thanks for the tips and advice! Can’t wait to try carrot green pesto I never know what to do with those luscious bunches of goodness!

  • Love this Mary:) I already regrow spring onions, leeks, garlic & help my chives to self seed 😉 but I haven’t tried cabbage or fennel yet, can’t remember what else you regrew lol It’s all so exciting watching things regrow isn’t it and now, as you said, I have a perpetual supply of spring onions & other things:) so fun!:) I also do this with shrubs & flowers too:) I love gardening & experimenting just to see what happens!:) Thank you for sharing:) xoxoxo

  • You must have great quality products at your local, my carrot tops didnt grow ar ALL, my spring onions grew only about 2 or 3 cm in one week but they were my best growth, my radish tops grew about 3cm leaves but mostly just got slimy and soft and smelly, maybe rot? On the bottom, and when washing that off, the radish part itself being just mushy, fell off.. so not sure I can plant those, although they have nice leaves. I out some other radish tops straight into soil, they shot up leaves, bit healthier flesh part.. hope they can produce more radish… but I’m going to try buying carrot and celery with tops still on them, my local sells those.. and cut some of the tops off, plant.. ans hopefull they grow better…:) wondr why my carrots sidnt grow at all. I changed water daily and keep them on a heat mat. Maybe they need sun!

  • Mary, this is wonderful! I have a good sized container garden currently. This will be the perfect addition!! Question, did you keep all of the cuttings in their containers in the refrigerator while waiting for them to root or on the counter? I’m sorry if you stated that but I didn’t catch it. Thank you for this thorough, simple, and informative video. I hope more people will get back to the “basics” and experience the joy it brings.

  • I always threw out the bottom parts of Green Onions.. They looked Soooo Gross.. Lol. I hated touching them… Just threw A LOT out a few days ago… Peeved at myself….. Thanks again

  • Hi Mary, I’m new to your channel! I was wondering, do you feel that it’s true that it’s hard to grow garlic indoors? I’ve heard that it takes around a year to even get a bulb out of it. It’s deterring me from trying, as I’m afraid it wouldn’t last the cold winters of Wyoming.


  • Most of it comes from the US, so they are getting it from China? And the pharmacist family the US recently charged with making and selling it are actually in China? Or is the EPOC times a bullshit news outket?

  • Thank you for making this video. As a family with pre existing medical conditions my folks and I are all self isolating right now due to COVID 19. We’re relying on grocery delivery providers to get our food and other supplies. I hope to use the veggie scraps and water to regrow our veggies, instead of seeds we’re finding it hard to get seeds mailed to us now. Thanks for helping me and my family out!! Happy Easter!!

  • Thank you so much, Mary. I promote, promote, promote the food scrap growing as I work with low income folks. Let everyone live well and be happy.:)

  • Thank you for this!
    If you have time to answer: Can turmeric be grown like ginger?
    Would carrots eventually produce the flowering stalk and seeds?
    Anyhow, very clear video and cosy pretension.

  • I love this video. All I need to do before I start spouting these delicious vegetables roots from my kitchen is to make a GARDEN��‍��.

  • Loved your idea for lettuce regrowing. Could you please do a video on florescent lighting and who to set this up inside of your home and to which other vegetables you can grow as well. Thank you.

  • Mary I was watching an indian guy with only a patio he sliced an organic tomatoes into slices laid it in shallow tray with seedling earth covered it lightly with same and grew quickly then transplanted to a pot

  • Store in the Green Boxes that Home Shopping Network sells and it will last up to five times as long as it does in other containers. Even strawberries do.

  • Wonderful idea indeed. You can also grow microgreens in your kitchen, and sprouts. Great for your salads. Also incredibly healthy.
    If you place your onion roots in a container with potting mix, they will last you much longer, and they will also be stronger. The same is true for other plants that can be regrown, including a lot of kitchen herbs.
    MiGardener has a video on how to regrow kitchen herbs. That saves a lot of money and is quite easily done.

  • I tried growing the ends of green onions-scallions-spring onions, and it is really easy. They sprouted within a day. And so easy to snip off an inch to sprinkle on salad

  • I tried regrowing my carrot tops and green onion. They both started sprouting fast but both stopped growing after a few days. The carrot grew moldy. Could you tell me what possibly went wrong? I put them on a windowsill, where there is sun on most days, but still pretty shaded. And I use filtered water.

  • I grow my sweet and white whole potatoes with eyes (uncut ) by putting them in its own plastic, half-whiskey barrel. I get bumper crops of “new potato” size and med size potatoes. I’ll sometimes start the eyes by placing whole potatoes into a lunch brown bag, and storing in a cabinet -when eyes are good-I plant in the barrels. albq

  • Your lettuce was bitter because it was bolting. it wanted to make seeds because it had a sense of dying… the lettuce felt either too cold or too hot, that’s why it grew so tall to produce seeds.. a lettuce is sweeter wwhen it’s in their bush like form

  • I started regrowing like this in our house years ago and loved it. Greens beans are the best and fresh rosemary:-) Then we sold our house, bought an RV and traveled the country for 10 years. Thanks for sharing

  • I use the stems of not only broccoli but other veggies too. Stems of collards, turnips, mustards, kale, Swiss chard are good sautéed.