Crumbs make a tasty dinner

03:07, Aug 09 2012

I was sitting at the breakfast table and the following conversation took place with my Master 10-year-old.

Master 10-year-old: "There is no toast."

“Yes, there is toast, there it is on the table next to the jam,” replies Mr Thirty Eight.

Master 10-year-old: "That's not toast!”

Mr Thirty Eight: "Yes it is, it is made of the same ingredients and comes from the same packet.”

Master 10-year-old: "I am not eating that, it's not bread!”


Of course, it was the two remaining crusts that the Fortune family accumulates every week and that dad would normally use, rather than have the ongoing and noisy debate over the genetic makeup of the bread particles that are left after the other 18 slices have gone.

This got me thinking of a million dollar idea. What happens to all of the crusts from our daily breads? There are more than one million loaves of bread baked by our largest bread provider in New Zealand every day, which would mean there are about 2 million crusts every day sitting on the breakfast table in front of Kiwi families. I am sure that every day the same conversation would be had at the breakfast or lunch table as the two “odd” slices of bread are suddenly the only option remaining.

If just 10 per cent of these crusts are not eaten and instead are put into the worm bin, or even worse the rubbish containers, then we would be wasting more than 1.4 million slices of bread every week simply because it is from the wrong end of the loaf.

If I set up collection bins that gathered all of these crusts and then turned them into breadcrumbs and then sold them back to you at $2.50 per 200g, then I would be able to process 45,000kg a week, giving me a turnover of half a million dollars a week or $27 million a year. I would have a profit margin of 10 per cent, giving me $2.7m pocket money to play with. Of course I would have to give a share to my son for helping me come up with the million dollar idea.


2 Tbsp Marlborough olive oil

1 clove Marlborough garlic, minced

1 cup Fortune breadcrumbs

cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp dried basil leaves

teaspoon ground black pepper

tsp Marlborough breadcrumbs

6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.

In a bowl, blend the olive oil and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, and pepper. Dip each chicken breast in the oil mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the coated chicken breasts in the prepared baking dish, and top with any remaining breadcrumb mixture.

Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

The Marlborough Express