Jamie Oliver believes the key to cutting food waste is cooking.

An Otago University study found Kiwi households are throwing away more than 47,000 tonnes of vegetables a year.

The celebrity chef said that if more people knew how to cook, they wouldn't throw out nearly as much food, reports news.com.au.

"People don't know what to do with this stuff," Oliver said.

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"Cooking is about adapting, ducking, diving. Recipes, from the beginning of time, have always evolved.

"The most powerful weapon against food waste is the knowledge of cooking."

"The concept of waste is using up odds and sods," he said.

"The parts of the world where they eat the most delicious foods are often the poorest parts, because they have knowledge of cooking. Stale bread is the foundation of British and Italian cooking, breadcrumbs are used in desserts, stews and pangrattato.

"It's a skill that mustn't be forgotten."

JAMIE'S TOP TIPS TO USE UP RANDOM BITS AND PIECES

Pickles

Pickling your vegetables is a great way to use them up before they turn. Photo / Getty
Pickling your vegetables is a great way to use them up before they turn. Photo / Getty

Lightly sweeten vinegar, add salt and put in whatever vegetables and spices I want.

Vinegar

I'm nuts about vinegar, it's one of the most underrated parts of the pantry. Don't just use it for dressings or marinades, throw in fruits and herbs to flavour it. I use it for balance. A lovely dark stew finished with raspberry vinegar at the end just lifts it up.

Curries and stews

Making a curry is an easy way to use up what's in the fridge. Photo / Getty
Making a curry is an easy way to use up what's in the fridge. Photo / Getty

These are great for using odds and sods.

Slaw

Is a great little mechanism for waste. I really love the idea that you can create something utterly beautiful out of cabbage and carrots. Use a mandolin, box grater or speed peeler to turn big, chunky, frumpy stuff into something beautiful and delicate.

Fresh herbs

Herb that are starting to turn can be used as a little brush when grilling meat to add flavour. Hang herbs up to dry, they have a different flavour.

Veggies

Don't peel vegetables, the flavour is in the skin. Just wash and scrub.

Lemon juice

Most people just use lemon juice, I use the zest. It's full of flavour and it's delicious. Don't chuck out the lemon peel, throw it in a jug with ice and water. It's a great way to embellish water and give it a little edge.

Bread

Turn stale bread into breadcrumbs.