A Tasty Beauty Makeover: Bread Crisps

“Pollution is nothing but the resources we are not harvesting. We allow them to be dispersed because we’ve been ignorant of their value. “ R. Buckminster Fuller

People of old times lived a simple life. They did simple things. They thought about life, love and others on a simple way. And they ate simple things. Simple, does not, however, mean dull, easy, ordinary, plain or elementary, rather it stands for uncomplicated, effortless, undemanding, pure, honest, humble, fundamental and homely. It meant planning, knowledge of seasonal crops, respecting both ingredients and leftovers.  Most people nowadays do not realize how much food they throw away every day in the form of uneaten leftovers or spoiled produce, resulting in more than 96 percent of the food that is throw away ending up in landfills. Once in landfills, food breaks down to build methane, a potent gas which contributes to climate change. Wasted food means wasted energy. Not only does cooking with leftovers reduce waste, it can help stretch food budget too. This act will save money, reduces methane emissions, lowers the carbon footprint, conserves energy and resources, preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling food and it supports community by providing donated untouched food that would have otherwise gone to waste to those who might not have a steady food supply.

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The older generations, including my grandparents were masters of reusing food: leftover boiled potato was kneaded into the bread dough…crusty breads that remained crusty only for about 24 hours, were turned into a crispy toast…uneaten toast was ground into breadcrumbs…and so on. In the bread crisps, the taste and texture of fresh crusty bread can be deliciously replicated…

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“All the human and animal manure which the world wastes, if returned to the land, instead of being thrown into the sea, would suffice to nourish the world.” Victor Hugo

Ingredients
1 loaf of bread, or leftover bread pieces
olive oil, as needed (no need to use extra virgin)
very finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tbsp butter (optional)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Place the bread on a cutting board and holing the knife at about a 45-degree angle, cut the bread into very thin slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet, and lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove and dust with the Parmesan cheese or a drop of butter. Return to oven for 5 minutes. Remove, turn over each slice, and dust with more cheese or more butter. Return to oven, and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the bread is crispy and golden brown. Let cool before serving.

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“The paradox of life lies exactly in this: its resources are finite, but it itself is endless. Such a contradictory state of affairs is feasible only because the resources accessible to life can be used over and over again.” I.I. Gitelson

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