Don’t waste cucumber skin and seeds – turn them into a cooling summer drink | Waste Not with Tom Hunt

Cucumber peel: keep it out of the bin and soak it in gin is the message for this fragrant, summer cocktail

An Edinburgh University study last year found that more than 50m tonnes of Europe’s fruit and vegetable crop is thrown away each year – equivalent to a third of the entire total – mostly due to cosmetic standards set by the supermarkets and the food industry (to put that in context, this waste is equivalent to the climate emissions of almost 400,000 cars).

So bypass your instinct to pick the perfect specimen from the pile, and instead demand overly-bendy bananas, twisted carrots and wonky cucumbers. We’ve been conditioned to want aestheticallyperfect vegetables because supermarkets stock little else, but in reality the best-tasting produce is often knobbly, bent and a bit quirky. Perfect veg, on the other hand, is grown for looks alone and often tastes bland.

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