Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going Green: Food Edition

Over at my regular blog, I did a post at the end of December about some ways I strove to be greener during the year. The Feb. 2009 issue of Bon Appetit has a pretty good article in it entitled "50 Ways to Eat Green." The title is pretty self-explanatory: here are 50 ways to eat greenly.

Upon reading the article, I was pleased to see that I already do several of these things. For example:

#1: Eat more chocolate - fair trade & organic that is. I have been endeavouring to purchase more high-quality, fair trade, and organic chocolate for a while. I don't always succeed, but I do buy Green & Black's more than any other brand nowadays.
#3: Fill up your freezer. Check!
#5: Make a bison burger. I have started buying more bison when I feel like having red meat.
#9: Cook more often - to avoid packaging and preservatives. Yep, do this all the time! It's also way cheaper!
#10: Roast a whole chicken. As I mentioned in the other post, I have loved doing this and plan on continuing.

There were a lot of great ideas in this article that would be really easy for me to incorporate:

#4: Don't Read The Omnivore's Dilemma, but rather In Defense of Food instead.
The latter apparently encapsulates Michael Pollan's philosophy nicely. The article recommends checking it out of the library. I can do that.
#21: Make your own cereal. Apart from oatmeal, which I regularly have for breakfast, I plan on making that wicked granola a lot more because it's so delicious and easy!
#25: Veg out. I.e. eat more vegetarian/plant-based foods, because they require less energy and resources to produce. I plan on eating more vegetarian dishes this year.
#39: Eat More Tofu. Well, I can tolerate tofu, but my main issue with it is that it's actually very processed. But, according to the article, it's actually way greener than meat, and uses way less water to produce. Apparently, if you replace one pound of beef with one pound of tofu each month, you save 20, 000 gallons of water each year. Tofu Tuesdays anyone?

One thing I do that isn't in the article is that I use a non-aerosol vegetable oil sprayer thingy, very similar to this one (mine isn't stainless steel, it's plastic, but it does the same thing). I hate Pam and it's clones. It's what makes your cookware/bakeware cruddy looking with brown spots that never come off. They also use propellants like butane and other crap I don't want to put into my body. With the pump/sprayer, I can use whatever oil I want to, and with a little muscle power, I get the exact same results as I would with Pam. The device cost me about $8 and I have saved a lot of money by not buying as much oil, too.

What about you guys? What do you do that is green, or is it even a consideration for you? Any ideas you want to share? Let me know!


Madam Chow said...

Tofu IS highly processed,and a lot of people don't think about that. Another option might be tempeh - it's more expensive, but it's not as processed and it is a fermented soy product that has shown more health benefits than tofu or soy milk.

Wandering Coyote said...

I've actually had tempeh and really didn't like it! That was 10 years ago, though, so maybe I should give it another go. But, I also haven't seen it around here anywhere, either. Hm.

tshsmom said...

I've added several bean dishes to my repertoire of recipes, but I refuse to eat tofu! I have sampled it several different ways when SME has cooked with it, and it's still NASTY!

My cooking techniques have always leaned toward the green side. It just happens naturally when you have to cook, and live, on a tight budget.

sp said...

Try seitan as well as tempeh. Tempeh is much better for you and it's delicious grilled. I'll have to send you the Chickpea cutlet recipe. You'll love it.

I would recommend Michael Pollan's book because it is well written and worth the read. I'd also recommend The Way We Eat (Singer and Mason) since they do discuss meat production and the environment.

As for my green choices? Like you I eat fair trade chocolate. I also eat a lot less of it as well since it does have to travel such a long long way to get to my store. I also drink fairly traded decaf teas and the occasional decaf coffee. We eat only organic foods and I even enjoy my organic gin now too. db makes his own bread. I try to shop as locally and seasonally as possible. Of course being vegan is pretty green since no animal products are consumed. I think we're doing pretty well.


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