Cooking Green: the New Green Basics Cookbook
July 17, 2007 by Kate Heyhoe
Who would believe you can cook a perfect rare roast beef, with a to-die-for garlicky browned crust – using just 20 minutes of fuel? Unlike old-fashioned methods (which burn up two hours of gas or electricity), this “blue oven” method saves considerable energy, spews out fewer greenhouse gases, and yields results that look and taste utterly delicious. Unbelievable. Or is it?
For some time now, my green radar has been telling me that buying organic isn’t enough. I suspected that, as a cook, I could do more to combat climate change. Lots more. The result: A treasury of practices that yield greener results than simply changing light bulbs, but integrate just as easily into daily life. Some methods are old, some new, some I tweaked, and all I refined with good green benefits in mind. Collectively, they’re a whole new approach to cooking the basics. And, they push the concept of “green cooking” far beyond the scope of just local, organic foods.
How you cook is as important as what you cook. Without abandoning your favorite recipes, you can bake, roast, broil, grill, and fry in vastly greener ways, saving fossil fuels, reducing greenhouse gases, and shrinking your carbon footprint. But “Cooking” has been a seriously under-reported (yet substantial) greenhouse gas creator. In my book, it’s the biggest way for kitchen-conscious consumers to take greener action. Shopping and Cleaning sections tackle the remaining cycle of feeding activities. And these tips don’t just help the planet. Many of my methods save time and money, too, yielding some unexpected side-benefits just for the cook.
So, to get the most bang out of your energy buck, why not start in the kitchen? After all, appliances account for thirty percent of our household energy use, and the biggest guzzlers are in the kitchen. After buying appliances with Energy Star labels, take the next big steps in the ways you use them. How you cook directly relates to more efficient fuel use, and the less fuel used, the fewer greenhouse gases.
Plus, a single family home spews more than twice as many greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere as the standard sedan – mostly from heating and cooling. Cooking can make a noticeable impact on household temperatures and how we adjust our thermostats. Anyone who’s sweltered in a hot kitchen in summer knows the impact cooking has on local warming, not to mention global warming. Likewise, a hot oven in winter can boost the room temperature, giving the household’s central heater a break.
The message: Without changing your politics, or completely disrupting your routine, you can reduce greenhouse gases simply by rethinking what you must do every day: consume food. (Leave the green remodeling and general lifestyle tips to other books.) And with this book’s eye-opening, green-method recipes and its hundreds of idea-inspiring tips, you’ll be eagerly serving up all your favorite dishes in new and greener ways.
As the average reader will discover, the kitchen is ripe with opportunities for going greener. It’s the place where people can make real choices, and take direct control of their impact – without letting the family feel deprived, hungry, or stressed. In fact, everyone will feel better just knowing they’re helping the planet – and they can do it one bite at a time.
Kate Heyhoe’s Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen—the New Green Basics Way (Hundreds of tips and over 50 energy- and time-saving recipes to shrink your “cookprint”) was published by Da Capo Press, a division of Perseus Book Group.
Buy Cooking Green
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen
the New Green Basics Way
Got some fresh ideas of greener ways to cook, shop or clean? Post a comment!