How #Compleating our food saves waste, money and time – and tastes delicious!

Add to favourites

Did you know one of the biggest environmental challenges we face is food waste? If it were a country, food waste would be third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. 


The Compleat It campaign from Love Food Hate Waste is aiming to change all that by helping New Zealanders take action and compleat their food. Compleating is more than just how we cook – it’s a whole food philosophy that can save people money while looking after the planet.

Love Food Hate Waste has been investigating how well people in New Zealand compleat their food, and it turns out that some valuable food staples – like potatoes, bread, and apples – are wasted simply because of personal preference. 

Among the most wasted foods are crusts and end slices of bread. Of the 15,174 tonnes ofbread we throw away in New Zealand every year, just under 20% is crusts and ends. We throw away the equivalent of 6 loaves of bread per person every single year! And yet there are hundreds of simple ways to use them up from cinnamon bread sticks to breadcrumbs or simply making a mini bread pudding in the microwave.

Broccoli stalks are perfectly edible, delicious and nutritious, but these are commonly wasted.Of the people Love Food Hate Waste surveyed, 37% never eat their broccoli stalks and so we throw out 282 tonnes of them each year.   

Peel not appealing? 10% of us always peel our vegetables before cooking leading to 3,511 tonnes of going to landfill each year yet carrots, beetroots, kumara and other root veggies are perfectly edible without peeling. All they need is a quick wash before preparing – saving time as well as reducing waste.

As for the humble spud, compleating our potato skins is the perfect way to stay healthy, save money, and love the planet all at the same time. Many Kiwis don’t eat their skins; currently we’re throwing away 7,039 tonnes of potato peelings every year. But most of the fibre goodness is in the skin, so enjoying skin-on mash ensures that we get all the nutrients without wasting a single bit.  

The Compleat campaign is filled with tips, tricks and tempting recipes to help Kiwis make the most of every bit of food, with a special food focus each week to encourage total use of the main offenders – meaning fuller purses and pukus, and less waste at the kerbside. 

Stratford District Council Waste Minimisation Officer, Louise Campbell said, "Love Food Hate Waste's campaign is good for the local economy and environment, and the wellbeing of all our residents. We’ll certainly be using the Compleating ideas to influence our personal food choices and encourage people across the district to make the most of the Compleating resources."

To find or share more tips for compleating your food, visit and be sure to spread the word about the ‘Compleat’ campaign.