Caring for the Cosmos
January 2010: Green Food Preparation
With studies indicating that Americans typically gain weight over the winter holidays, it comes as no surprise that the most popular New Year's resolutions involve shedding pounds. Since Jesus taught, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” as recorded in Matthew 5:6, I encourage everyone to take weight management goals in a new direction this year, eating not only to improve a personal BMI, but also the planet's health. For help in channeling inevitable cravings toward food that benefits the earth, consult the following list of tips.
- Eat locally produced fare. As Allison Baker points out in her article “Local Time,” which appeared in the November 29, 2009 issue of Family Circle, the additional processing, packaging, and handling associated with shipping goods from afar equates to an increased environmental drain. She recommends browsing the website LocalHarvest.org, where visitors can enter a zip code to locate farmers' markets, stores, and eateries in their area offering locally grown products, and also 100MileDiet.org, which offers pointers and further motivation for eating locally.
- Plant a garden. The ultimate way to join the local movement, growing your own vegetables can prove rewarding and fun, especially when children or grandchildren get involved.
- Cook from scratch. A kitchen klutz, I often reach for canned goods or prepared meals, to save effort and precious time, but while ready-made products offer convenience, they impact the environment more than basic ingredients, due to increased manufacturing and packaging.
- Recycle kitchen scraps. Starting a compost pile in the backyard benefits the environment by both reducing household waste and adding nutrients to the soil. Free workshops covering the basics of home composting are frequently held at the Livingston Public Library.
- Research fish varieties. Many types are endangered, or farmed in ways that harm the environment, as detailed by the Environmental Defense Fund at OceansAlive.org. Consult this site for guidance in purchasing sustainable seafood, such as Alaskan wild salmon, and avoiding ecologically-damaging fish, such as bluefin tuna.
Copyright © 2010-2013 by Jennifer Kirsch. All Rights Reserved.