How to Cook Green

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today is Blog Action Day, when blogs are all posting on a single topic: the environment. If you read my blog regularly, you already know that keeping a green kitchen is a topic of great interest to me. But I realize I can do more, and I want to challenge myself to do more.

Fortunately for cooks, “green” cooking is no sacrifice. Cooking green goes hand-in-hand with preparing healthy, simple meals that taste delicious. Also, cooks have been reducing waste in the kitchen for thousands of years, and cookbooks are packed with tips on how to do this, from recipes that use stale bread to stocks that get the most out of animal bones and vegetable scraps. We cooks are natural environmentalists, even if we don’t call ourselves that.

Here are some easy things I am already doing and that you can start doing right away:

But I realize I can do even more. This year, I want to challenge myself to cook green as much as possible, and I challenge you to do the same. Here are the goals I’m setting myself for the upcoming year:

  • Expand my organic vegetable garden. I want to grow as much of my own produce as possible and learn how to preserve my produce.
  • Buy locally. I intend to visit my local farmers’ market more often (at least once a week) and buy local eggs, dairy and meat products as much as I can. I will also look into joining a CSA.
  • Reduce even more my dependence on processed foods. For instance, I want to learn how to make my own baby food, and I am becoming more interested in baking my own bread (although a local baker is finally opening nearby to provide a good alternative).
  • Buy in bulk. I want to learn more about preserving foods and using as much as possible (such as in stock-making), so that I can buy more foods in bulk, which reduces packaging and trips to the grocery store.
  • Create my own root cellar. Is it possible to make a root cellar in my suburban home? I suspect it might be. This is something I want to investigate.
  • Collect rain water for my garden. We have been in a drought for two months now. In an effort to reduce my impact on the local water supply and make the most of natural resources, I want to start collecting rain water for garden use.

There are so many benefits to taking these steps — becoming less reliant on the food industry and more connected to my community, cooking healthier meals for my family, and knowing where my food comes from and what has gone into it. So, how are you going to challenge yourself to cook green?

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6 thoughts on “How to Cook Green

  1. marimann 15 October 2007 at 11:03 am

    Hi, I found your blog through the Blog Action Day site and wanted to comment. I liked and was inspired by your list of things you already do and your list of goals as well. And as an aside, I just baked a loaf of bread in my crockpot and was really pleased with the results. It was easy and the crcokpot uses surprisingly little electricity. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and goals!

  2. Shannon 15 October 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Thanks for the great tip. I don’t have a crockpot, but ideas like that may just inspire me to get one.

  3. jolynna 16 October 2007 at 12:35 am

    Marimann,
    I knew you could cook bread in a crockpot but never knew anyone who did. Is this your first time? Did you use a regular recipe?

    Shannon,

    I really like what you’ve done here. I also think you have posted some really good suggestions people can easily implement. One step at a time.

  4. Clare 16 October 2007 at 11:24 am

    Great list, very practical and doable. I just found your blog and I think I’ll be spending a lot of time here.

    I set up a rain barrel for my garden this year, and I loved it. It filled up much quicker than I expected, and there was only one week when I had to fall back on municipal water to keep my tomatoes happy. If I installed another barrel I’d elevate it about 3′ on blocks or a frame so it had better water pressure in the hose.

  5. Shannon 16 October 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks, Clare! Please keep those rain barrel tips coming! My husband is still skeptical.

  6. omtutu 17 October 2007 at 4:27 am

    Shannon these are all great ideas. I really want to start my own garden as mu husband has introduced me to the world of “Natural Eating” http://www.naturaleater.com/

    And though I know my bad habits die hard, I really do want to try and cook, and live Greener.

    Our move to Bahrain has made having our own organic veggie garden a distant dream, but that doesn’t mean I can’t do the other things you listed!

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