Non-culinary Uses of our Produce


Raise your hand if you have more onions than you know what to do with!  Glad I’m not alone.  several years of not knowing what to do with all my produce, I’ve decided to investigate the possibilities which go beyond the gates of gastronomy. Here is a concise list of things you can do with some of the items in this week’s box that does not involve your digestive system:


  • Rub a slice on the bathroom mirror to prevent fogging during a shower.
  • Acts as a pest deterrent when sliced and placed on aluminum.
  • Fixes creaky hinges like WD-40
  • The skin “erases” pen from paper and also cleans crayon off walls.
  • Acts a a cleaner for metal fixtures – removes tarnish and adds shine!
  • Shines shoes!
  • This one does involve consumption, but apparently, cucumbers cure hangovers.
  • The phytochemicals in cucumber helps the collagen in your skin to tighten.  We all know the old cucumber-slice-on-the-eyes trick.


  • Skins make a great ochre (yellow-brown) dye for eggs, fabric and whatnot.
  • Juice can be used to prevent or relieve insect bites and repel moths.
  • Used in microscopy training, due to its extremely large cells. I remember doing this in 7th grade science class.
  • Said to promote hair growth and reduce skin freckling when applied topically.
  • If you pour boiling water over chopped onions and leave it to cool, the remaining liquid, when sprayed on, will help plants become more pest resistant.
  • Onions can be used to polish glass and prevent iron from rusting.
  • Repels ants when left in a bowl of water
  • Acne treatment


  • I learned this from my parents’ neighbors:  It is a custom among Persian Jews to whip each other during the singing of Dayenu at the Passover Seder, playfully, of course, but it doesn’t always happen that way at my house.

Zucchini (as written in the September 16, 1981 issue of The Milwaukee Sentinel):

  • “The next time you have a baby, pass out zucchini instead of cigars.
  • Save the biggest ones for Halloween and carve oblong Jack ‘o’ Lanterns
  • Ask your church to sponsor a zucchini roll instead of an egg roll this Easter in honor of vegetarians around the world.
  • Cut them in half and have dugout canoe races down your local irrigation ditch or canal.
  • Carve one into the shape of a bone and play a trick on your dog
  • Elect a Zucchini Queen in your community and award her her weight in zucchini.
  • Mount a big one on your mantle and talk about the ‘one that got away’.”,2829042

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