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Looking at Watermelon Waste

By Robb White, CEC CCA AAC; Executive Chef & Food Waste Prevention Catalyst  //  July 9, 2018

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This is a recurring feature where LeanPath Executive Chef Robb White examines real food waste images from LeanPath 360s and shares insights based on what he sees.

There are two things that stand out to me in this picture:

  1. There’s too much deep red on the rind. This tells me a refresher on knife skills--particularly around trimming melon--is in order. The easiest way to chop a watermelon is with straight cuts that don’t follow the curve of the fruit. This is fast but wasteful. Analyze your waste data and understand how much usable fruit is being thrown out on the rind. Maybe you should switch to precut fruit.
  2. I see unused rind. A lesson I try to drill into all the LeanPath clients I work with is that you paid just as much for a fruit’s rind as you did for the flesh. No difference in price. None. So why not come up with a way to use it. You paid for it, after all.

Pickled Watermelon Rind
Recipe by Robb White, LeanPath Executive Chef

4 lbs watermelon rind

2 C apple cider vinegar

2 C water

1 ½ C sugar

½ C ginger (fresh, sliced)

¼ C kosher salt

2 t red pepper flakes

2 t allspice berries

2 ea star anise pods


  • Peel off a thin layer of the green rind, and dice into 1 inch cubes
  • In a large saucepan, bring the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, salt, and spices to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Hold the boil for 60 seconds, and then gently add the rind cubes.
  • Return to a boil and then turn off the heat.  Remove from burner and let the pan cool for 30 mins.
  • Remove the cubes and place them in a stainless steel container. Ladle as much of the pickling liquid as you can over the cubes to cover.  Cover the container and let stand at room temp for about 1 ½ hours.
  • Label, date, and move container to refrigerator.  
  • Use anywhere you'd typically use a pickle: sandwiches, relish, salads, etc. Use within a month from pickling and keep refrigerated.

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