How To Be More Sustainable In The Kitchen, According To Nick DiGiovanni - Exclusive

If you take a look at Nick DiGiovanni's TikTok or YouTube pages, it's clear that he has a deep appreciation for all kinds of foods. He also has a knack for making them shine — and sometimes for getting them outside of their comfort zone. From cacio e pepe ramen noodles to a homemade Choco Taco to the world's largest chicken nugget, there's nothing he won't try, which is probably how he's racked up more than 15 million followers on social media, along with the fact that he happens to be the youngest ever "MasterChef" finalist.

Nick DiGiovanni's reach in the world of food media is only growing, and he plans to take advantage of that good fortune to make a difference when it comes to reducing food waste. It's a bigger factor than you might think when it comes to climate change. He explained that several of the most "harmful and impactful" detriments to the environment are "very directly related to food, with the biggest one being food waste." 

It's an important issue that demands attention, and DiGiovanni said he is "grateful" and "lucky" that he may be able "to actually do something." As he put it, "The fact that I am in a position to potentially influence that, even if it's just a tiny, tiny bit is great, because I think there's going to be opportunities everywhere ... I'm going to look everywhere I can to see how I can get the word out ... because it is really important."

It's something we can all take part in as well, starting in our own kitchens. In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table, DiGiovanni shared the simple step we can all take to be a little bit more sustainable when we're cooking.

The best way to be sustainable in the kitchen is to get creative, says Nick DiGiovanni

If you want to make your kitchen a little bit more sustainable, Nick DiGiovanni says you need to start using your imagination. "If you're able to get your home kitchen to zero waste by just utilizing everything, every single scrap that comes across your cutting board, then that's already a really good start."

While completely eliminating trash is next to impossible, especially in the kitchen, there is probably a lot more you can do with your food if you're willing to think outside the box — kind of like DiGiovanni does when he's creating his viral videos. As he explained to us, "99% of the food or the things that come into your kitchen can be used in some way ... There are ways to utilize every single ingredient out there. I rarely feel like I come across anything where you really truly have to throw it out and just can't repurpose it." 

Getting into this habit will help cut down on your carbon footprint while also beefing up your culinary chops. According to DiGiovanni, "A lot of the scraps or things that people might throw out are things that a chef in a kitchen probably uses in some way."

If you've maxed out your leftover bones and worked your veggies down to mere peels and scraps — or simply aren't sure how else to prolong your ingredients — DiGiovanni has a suggestion for one last thing you can try instead of tossing them out: "If you can't use these different scraps that you have in your kitchen in some other way, just freeze them all and then use them for some sort of stock."

Catch Nick DiGiovanni in the fourth season of "Selena + Chef," now streaming on HBO Max.