The way we eat has a big impact on the planet. In Cool Cuisine: Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming, Laura Stec and Eugene Cordero explain all the ways our food choices affect the environment. Their book includes tasty recipes and lots of practical information, like a handy seasonal vegetable guide and how to cook different grains, as well as carbon comparisons on specific foods and cooking methods. Here, they break down steps you can take to reduce your impact (and don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the book!)
Cool Cuisine: Stage One
Here’s a partial list of things you can do. Start with small changes and add on new steps as you go–the higher the stages, the greater the change. Have fun with it!
- Reduce meat consumption, specifically beef, by 20 percent. Replace with three meatless meals per week (or replace a beef meal with chicken).
- Start buying seasonal produce.
- Buy produce grown within your own country. Reduce consumption of tropical fruits.
- Reduce consumption of bottled water. Drink water bottled in your own country.
- Reduce food waste–eat what you buy.
- Bring your own bags to the grocery store.
Cool Cuisine: Stage Two
- Reduce meat consumption, specifically beef, by 30 percent. Replace with four or five meatless meals a week.
- Replace two factory-farmed meat meals with meat from grass-fed, pasture-raised animals.
- Eat one or two meals a week using no animal products at all (no meat, cheese, or egg).
- Start shopping at a farmers market, or purchase a community-supported agriculture (CSA) box of produce. Bike to the market when you can.
- Learn how to flavor foods with herbs, spices, and seasonings rather than animal fat.
- Eat three meals a week using organic foods.
- Refill plastic water bottles once from the tap before tossing the bottle.
- Cook one to three meals using unprocessed, unpackaged foods. Buy in bulk if possible.
Cool Cuisine: Stage Three
- Eat three or more meals a week using no animal products (no meat, cheese, or egg).
- Eat five or more meals a week using organic foods.
- Stop drinking bottled water altogether. Buy a water filter and reusable bottles and refill them from your home tap.
- Bring your own cup to the coffee shop. Bike to get there.
- Buy fair-trade, organic, bird-friendly coffee and chocolate.
- Start your own home food-scrap compost pile or convince your city to start one.
Largest Global-Warming Diet Contributions
- Synthetic nitrogen fertilizers
- Air freight
- Food waste
- Consumer travel to and from store
–University of California, Davis, 2007
Excerpted from “Cool Cuisine” by Laura Stec with Eugene Cordero, Ph.D. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith.
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