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Cookprint: A New Green Buzzword

February 26, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

Plus: Refrigeration Storage Tips

Consumer Reports picks “cookprint” as one of the top buzzwords of 2009

 

What do you call the impact you make on the planet when you cook?

It’s your “cookprint”— the entire chain of resources used to prepare meals, and the waste produced in the process.

The cookprint starts with food, in your garden or at the farm; it travels to your kitchen and continues in your fridge, freezer or pantry. The cookprint grows larger every time heat or fuel is added, from a cooktop, oven, or small appliance. Discarded waste, whether it’s organic produce trimmings, plastic packaging, or water down the drain, further colors the cookprint. As do the implements you cook with, the way you store leftovers, and how you dispose of food waste.

refrigerator

In short, the cookprint measures every meal’s entire environmental impact. It’s the total amount of energy (from farm to fuel to fork) used in creating a meal. And it puts the cook squarely in charge of just how big, or how green, that cookprint will be—in ways that go far beyond buying organic or local, or eating meat or not.

 

Why “Cookprint”?

In writing my next book, I couldn’t find the exact term I wanted, so I created “cookprint.”

I was having a tough time with the term “carbon footprint.” Not because of what it stands for, but because it’s such a cold, negative term, and my world revolves around upbeat, positive and inspiring ways to integrate food and cooking into our lives. Food writing should be mouthwatering and inviting, and “carbon footprint” was not.

Nor is the new buzzword “foodprint” exactly right. Coined by Cornell University researchers led by Chris Peters, “foodprint” is defined as the amount of land needed to supply one person’s nutritional needs for a year. It makes conclusions about meat vs. non-meat diets, but pivots mainly on agriculture land resources.

I wanted a word that was vested in personal actions: how we can each make a difference, every day. Even if you don’t cook, someone cooks what you eat, and that contributes to your personal cookprint.

Moreover, I wanted a term that involved a verb, not a foot or a food.

The “cook” in cookprint is a word of action. Just think of all the decisions, and all the physical steps, that go into answering the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?”

farm tractor

Understanding your “cookprint” is about questioning the things we take for granted, and making greener choices with every meal. Sure, a “cookprint” includes ingredients—where they come from, how they’re grown, and how they’re packaged. But there’s more: it’s how you cook your food, the type of energy used, the amount of fuel consumed, the amount of water you use—and the amount of fuel and water you waste.

A cookprint covers even the smallest details. It’s about storing food in ways that use less energy, without sacrificing nutrition or flavor. This means making the refrigerator you already own more energy efficient, storing fresh fruits and vegetables in ways that make them last longer (meaning fewer shopping trips and less spoilage), saving leftovers in glass containers rather than plastic ones or zipper bags. Frying with energy-efficient skillets. And hundreds of other tips.

“Cookprint” is the foundation of this website, and what I consider the New Green Basics of Cooking.

 

Boiling Down Your “Cookprint”

Recipes and traditional cooking methods are also targeted when it comes to greening your cookprint. In places and times when fuel is scarce, people never take fuel consumption for granted. Neither should we. Does that mean giving up slow roasted foods or big, boiling pots of pasta? Absolutely not! But there are plenty of ways to stretch the fuels we use, every time we turn on the oven or fire up the burner, and green our cookprint by doing so. It’s time to stop being mindless energy hogs when it comes to cooking methods. It’s time to green our cookprints.

 

Cookprint Q & A:
Refrigerator Temperature

From time to time, as I write my current book, I’ll be posting tips and articles intended to color your “cookprint.” To start, here’s a question that makes better use of your refrigerator.

Q: The refrigerator is the kitchen’s biggest energy hog. What’s the best temperature setting for your refrigerator?

A: When fresh foods are stored properly, at their specific optimal temperatures, they’ll last longer, meaning fewer gas-guzzling trips to the store. Use a refrigerator/freezer thermometer to monitor your setting. In general, 37 to 40 degrees cools sufficiently without wasting electricity. Keep dairy products at 33 to 38 degrees, meats between 31 and 36 degrees, and eggs at 33 to 37 degrees. Store fresh vegetables and ripe fruits at 35 to 40 degrees. To stash foods in the coldest sections of the fridge, store them along the freezer wall (in a side-by-side) or in the back of the fridge, and never in the door. Some refrigerators come with programmable storage bins, so you simply set them for meats, produce or citrus. Tip: Place a freezer pack in your fridge or its bins, to chill down the immediate area (place it under meats or milk, for instance). The freezer pack will last several days, and you can refreeze it when it thaws.

2008 Trends: What’s Hot, What’s Not

January 10, 2008 by · Comments Off on 2008 Trends: What’s Hot, What’s Not 

This year, cooking comes with greater awareness. Jumpstarted in recent years by Warren Buffet and the Gates Foundation, George Clooney’s plea for Darfur, issues raised by The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Al Gore’s leadership with global warming, the national mindset is increasingly aimed at connecting with bigger issues. As the year progresses, I’ll be covering the emerging trends behind what we eat and how we cook it…

Lodge Signature Seasoned Cast Iron Covered Casserole with Stainless Steel Handles

In:

  • Cast iron cookware, regular and enamel coated
  • Made in USA (preferably local)
  • Induction cooking, to keep kitchens cool
  • Re-usable shopping bags
  • Stovetop cooking, all year round
  • Conscious consumerism: voting with your dollar
  • Savory desserts
  • More meatless meals, especially with whole grains
  • Dark chocolate, organic and fair trade, 70% cacao
  • Certified: Organic, Fair Trade, and domestic Fair Trade
  • Ethical eating, humanely raised animals
  • Kinder, gentler TV chefs with world vision
  • Kitchen sections at second-hand stores
  • Peace

Out:

  • Inhumanely raised livestock and poultry
  • Inhuman, self-centered TV chefs with no vision
  • Milk chocolate
  • Faux organics and exploited workers
  • Made in China, including questionable “organics”
  • Double wall ovens, which stress cooling systems
  • Beefy meals (though grass-fed beats conventional)
  • Plastic and paper
  • Oven cooking in warm weather
  • Supporting the bad guys
  • Corn syrup sweets
  • Teflon and nonstick-surface cookware
  • Salad shooters and one-trick-pony appliances
  • War

…from Kate’s Global Kitchen

Lodge’s Green Initiatives

October 31, 2007 by · 2 Comments 

One benefit of cast iron is that the seasoned surface is naturally nonstick and non-toxic at any temperature, unlike bonded surfaces like Teflon.

lodge cookbook

It’s not just enough to make products from green materials, or design cookware that’s more energy efficient. The greenness of the manufacturing process also comes into play, and every cookware company makes some degree of environmental impact. But at Lodge, they’re environmentally vested. Here’s the company’s report:

How Green is Our Foundry?

Lodge Manufacturing Company’s Pollution Prevention Success Stories

*Increased Use of Biodiesel:* In 2005, Lodge began using biodiesel to power several pieces of equipment, progressing to a 90% blend before cutting back to 20% in winter months. Biodiesel reduces ozone forming potential and also reduces emissions of sulfur, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and hydrocarbons compared to diesel.

*Cardboard Recycling:* Lodge began cardboard recycling by allowing outside companies to pick up cardboard at no charge. In 2001, the amount of cardboard recycle was 34.5 tons. In 2005, it was 48.1 tons. The program continues today.

*Establishment of Beneficial Use of Foundry Sand:* Lodge Mfg, the American Foundry Society (AFS), and the Environmental Committee of the AFS worked with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Solid Waste to request and help draft a beneficial use policy for non-hazardous foundry sand. The policy was adopted in April 1996 and is an example of industry and government working together for good of the environment.

Beneficial Reuse of Foundry Sand/Marion County Landfill: Lodge Mfg coordinated with Marion County government to have 9,225 cubic yards of foundry sand to create the required 12-inch protective cover over the liner in the first phase of two new cells. Completed in March 2003, the County saved $191,311.75 by using the sand.

*Settling Ponds Support Plant & Animal Life:* A stream flows from South Pittsburg Mountain through the Lodge foundry and into the Lake Guntersville Reservoir Watershed. Working to enhance the stream’s water, Lodge constructed three storm water settling ponds to support plant and animal life. Water lilies, cattails and fish have been introduced to the ponds and are thriving. Water quality is now above requirements.

*Planting Trees for Site Beautification & Ozone Attainment:* A total of 121 trees have been planted on the Lodge Mfg campus to help improve air quality and beautification. The establishment of 1.4 acres of trees is equivalent to removing one motor vehicle from the highway.

*Lodge Manufacturing receives the 1994 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction:* In 1991, Lodge President Henry Lodge replaces the cupola melting system with more environmentally friendly induction melt system. The result was that Lodge Mfg changed its status as a Large Quantity Generator of Hazardous Waste to Small Quantity Generator.

Slavery of the Cocoa Children

August 20, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

The Ivory Coast produces 40% of the world’s cocoa, and its beans are mixed into almost every brand of mass-produced chocolate. But did you know that much of that cocoa is harvested by children as slave labor, held captive and forced to work against their will?

cacao

In 2000 and 2001, British and American journalists documented the enslavement of adolescent and teenage boys on cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast. Most of the children come from Mali, Ivory Coast’s poorer neighbor. Traffickers entice naive adolescents and teenagers with the promise of good jobs in the Ivory Coast. Even the prospect of buying a new bicycle or modest scooter can motivate a boy to sign up for a season of hard work. Later, once separated from their community or others who speak their language, the children are sold to cocoa farmers. Some farmers pay children a small sum at the end of the cocoa season. Some do not. And some farmers exploit the children’s vulnerability, forcing them to perform long, hard, dangerous work, with only minimal food and shelter. Some beat and threaten those who try to escape, locking the children in sheds or huts at night.

West Africa supplies 70% of the world’s cocoa, mostly to Hershey’s, Mars, Nestlé, Cadbury, Cargill, ADM, and other global corporations. And while a handful of these western corporations control approximately 85% of Ivorian cocoa exports, and could take a pro-active lead in combating slavery practices, few have done anything substantial. Even 2001’s hopeful Harkin-Engel Protocol, in which large-scale cocoa industry players promised to eliminate the worst forms of child labor, has been watered down and produced little effect.

Consumers, though, can make an impact—by buying Fair Trade Certified products. Fair Trade Certified cocoa and chocolates are sourced from eleven origins, including Ivory Coast, Ghana, and numerous Central and South American countries. Under Fair Trade standards, the farmers and co-operatives abide by key covenants of the International Labor Organization, including those forbidding inappropriate child labor and forced labor. Fair Trade also offers critical protections for workers, and directly addresses the underlying problem of low cocoa prices and chronic poverty among cocoa farmers. And Fair Trade’s criteria also specify the practice of sustainable agriculture that limits the use of agrochemicals.

For us at Global Gourmet and NewGreenBasics.com, our favorite chocolates just happen to be Fair Trade Certified, and we’ve added a new company to the list: Equal Exchange, which was founded in 1986, and is the oldest, largest for-profit Fair Trade company in the U.S. Besides sinfully rich cocoa and chocolate bars, they offer organic coffee, tea, and sugar produced by democratically run farmer co-ops in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The company takes an active roll in humanitarian issues, and the story above is adapted from an article that appeared in their Spring 2007 newsletter. (Read the original “Ivory Coast cacao (Ivory Coast cacao)”:http://www.equalexchange.com/child-labor-in-the-cocoa-industry article).

A list of Fair Trade Certified companies, from chocolate makers and distributors, to tea, sugar, rice, vanilla and other ingredients, can be found at “Fair Trade Certified’s Licensed Partners (Fair Trade Certified’s Licensed Partners)”:http://www.transfairusa.org/content/certification/licensees2.php#cocoa .

Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage

August 2, 2007 by · Comments Off on Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage 

Serves 4

Green Meter:

Green Goodness: No added fuel; uses precooked chicken and roasted hazelnuts (try the Ginger Poached Chicken above; roast the nuts anytime your oven’s hot, as described below)
Prep/Cooking Times: 10 minutes total prep
Prime Season: year round
Conveniences: Can be partially made 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

The Ginger-Poached Chicken and Broth recipe yields moist, flavorful chicken, perfect for this distinctive chicken salad, but any cooked chicken will do. Napa or Chinese cabbage is sweeter and milder than regular cabbage, and the leaves add a crunchy, frilly contrast to the dish. (To shred the cabbage, stack the leaves and slice into 1/8-inch strips.) Hazelnuts make this a sophisticated dish, with crunchy, toasted flavor.

Roasted Hazelnuts: Roast the nuts ahead of time, whenever you’re already baking something between 350 and 375 degrees F. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet; roast for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring once. When the skin crackles, pour them into a clean towel and rub vigorously to remove most of the skin (do this outdoors for less mess). Refrigerate or freeze, up to 3 months, and toss them into salads, pastas, breads, and desserts.

3 cups shredded cooked chicken meat
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 green onions
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 ounces (3 cups packed) finely shredded napa cabbage leaves (about 7 medium leaves)
3/4 cup (2-1/2 ounces) toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix the chicken and vinegar in a bowl, until the vinegar is absorbed. Trim and diagonally slice the green onions (both green and white parts) about 1/4-inch wide. Stir the mayonnaise and hazelnuts into the chicken. (The salad may be prepared up to this point and refrigerated for 1 day before continuing.) Just before serving, mix in 3/4 of the cabbage, most of the green onion (reserve a bit for garnish), and pepper. Spread the remaining cabbage on a serving platter, spoon the salad on top and garnish with green onion and hazelnuts.

About Cooking Green

July 29, 2007 by · Comments Off on About Cooking Green 

Cooking Green

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”) is Kate Heyhoe’s eighth book. Cooking Green is published by Da Capo Books (Perseus Books Group).

To learn more about a key concept in the book, visit Shrinking Your Cookprint.

 

“…when it comes to the green kitchen Kate Heyhoe is really the Green Goddess. A dynamic combination of Michael Pollan, Alton Brown, and Wonder Woman all rolled into one. After finishing this book you will definitely be convinced that you can help save the planet while preparing dinner every night.” —Heather Jones, ProjectFoodie.Com, July 9, 2009.

 
 

From Publisher’s Weekly:

“The foods we eat and the ways we buy, store and prepare them are significant contributors to global warming. This information-packed volume, from cookbook author and newgreenbasics.com founder Heyhoe, provides detailed guidance for those looking to make thelr cooking and eating habits earth-friendlier. Heyhoe has thought long and hard about this topic—she cites myriad inspirations (from environmentalists to food scienists like Harold McGee and The New Basics Cookbook) and compelling statistics (“less than 7 percent of the energy consumed by a gas oven goes to the food”) that led her to develop the concept of a “cookprint” (the foodie version of an environmental footprint) and this guide to shrinking it. The book covers everything from appliances and cookware to shopping, ingredients (including details on the impact of meat and seafood on the planet), cooking techniques and cutting down on waste, and answers the questions that many aspiring eco-friendly types have probably wondered about—like which kind of grill is the greenest.

“At the end there’s also a no-frills recipe section wlth dishes such as ginger chicken and broth, passively poached, shortcut lasagna and true skillet cornbread—all featuring a “Green Meter”—that put into practice what Heyhoe preaches.”

 

Down to Earth books at home in your kitchen

By Janet K. Keeler, St. Petersburg FL Times Lifestyles Editor
April 22, 2009

On Earth Day 1971, a bunch of eighth-grade pals and I snubbed the bus and rode our bikes to school on some pretty busy streets in Santa Clara, Calif. The word “green” was not part of our vocabulary then; still we felt the sentiment keenly. The first Earth Day was 1970 and kicked off the modern environmental movement. • It would be a few months before Marvin Gaye’s Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) became our anthem. And maybe a year or two before we started wearing Earth Shoes. • Today, on the 40th Earth Day, I am not sure we are in tons better environmental shape, but we are certainly talking about it a lot. Here are five just-released food books that tell us how easy it is to make our kitchens and menus green.

TITLE: Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen by Kate Heyhoe (Lifelong Books, $17.95)

GENERALLY SPEAKING: Not to get too cute, but this book just may help you reduce your “cookprint.” Heyhoe, founding editor of Globalgourmet.com and Newgreenbasics.com, compares cooking techniques and equipment to help you save energy in the kitchen. For instance, go for small appliances over big (toaster oven vs. oven) when you can. Make sure the dishwasher is full before running. Use cloth and sponges instead of paper towels. I like this book as a wake-up call to the waste that goes on in cooking, and it’s not all about food. Cooking Green isn’t sexy, but what a font of information. Plus, the recipes are sophisticated and with a global favor.

THE VIBE: Your mother was right; turn off lights and don’t let the water run.

HOW GREEN IS IT? Printed on 100 percent “post-consumer waste recycled paper” with vegetable-based inks.

ONE GOOD TIP: A kitchen exhaust fan sucks up grease and fumes, so fewer airborne particles settle on kitchen surfaces. This means less greasy dust and less need for cleaning over time. But don’t run the fan longer than needed, to conserve power.

 

From The Fun Times Guide to Food:

“…Scores of those half-million book titles are about “cooking green”—everything from going organic, to buying from local growers, etc. But most of them don’t actually talk about cooking green. Kate does.”

 

From Booklist (American Library Association, April 15, 2009 Issue):

What does it truly take to cook green? It is more than buying locally grown foodstuffs, explains Heyhoe, though obviously locavores do have a head start on dining sustainably. Cooking green is far more comprehensive than monitoring appliance use; tracking energy output, for sure, is yet another element of eco-friendliness. Add cookware to the mix of determinants, along with type of technique, the table decorations, even the choice of energy-efficient ingredients (like no-cook pasta sauces).

Ever-present sidebars are informative, with data that can potentially impact our ecological decisions: freezer packs save energy, vacuum refrigerator coils often to decrease electricity use, and trading white linens for bare tabletops in a four-restaurant chain amounted to a $100,000 annual savings. Fifty recipes, from meatless moussaka to true skillet cornbread, wrap up her go-green dictate, all belying the myth that good for you isn’t great for the taste buds. This is a very careful, well-explained examination of the cookprint we decide to leave; after all, 12 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions are directly tracked to the ways we grow, prepare, and ship foods.

—Barbara Jacobs

 

From GreenLAGirl:

“…This book will really help answer some of the more anal retentive questions that keep eco-foodies up at night: Should I steam or boil? Should I thaw fish fillets out on the counter or in the fridge? What color should my pilot light be? When should I run my dishwasher? All of these questions are tackled in nitty gritty detail in Cooking Green.”

 

Buy Cooking Green

 

Cooking Green:
Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen
the New Green Basics Way

Ginger-Poached Chicken & Broth

July 25, 2007 by · Comments Off on Ginger-Poached Chicken & Broth 

A Green Flame Recipe

Serves 4 to 6

Green Meter:

Green Goodness: 15 minutes of cooktop fuel cooks a whole chicken, with healthful broth
Prep/Cooking Times: 5 minutes prep +15 minutes active cooking + 60 minutes resting time
Prime Season: year round
Conveniences: Can be made 1-2 days in advance and refrigerated.
Morphable: Use the broth wherever chicken broth is called for; shred meat into soup, salads and sandwiches, rice paper wraps, spring rolls, tortillas, or serve pieces hot with soy sauce and rice. Vary the seasonings for a Mexican, Indian, or other flavorprint. (See specific recipes in headnotes below)

In this Chinese poaching method, chicken simmers for a short time immersed in seasoned water, then the flame is turned off and the chicken continues to gently “cook” in the hot liquid. The meat is far more tender and moist than if boiled until done, and the resulting chicken broth fills the house with aromas of ginger, green onion, and sherry. My favorite cure for a cold? A bowl of this chicken and broth, with noodles, and bok choy or shredded Chinese cabbage.

If you cook this dish in advance and refrigerate it, the fat hardens and you can just lift it off. Also, the chicken meat stays moist in the broth and is easier to shred when cool. I usually stretch this dish across three meals: I first serve most of the chicken pieces with a sesame-soy or Vietnamese style dipping sauce and rice. The broth can go into Wonton Soup, and I shred the remaining chicken into a sophisticated but amazingly easy Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Shredded Napa Cabbage.

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), without giblets
2-3/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 inches fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
5 whole green onions, green and white parts diagonally cut into 2-inch lengths
2 tablespoons dry sherry

1. Rub the chicken all over with the salt, including inside the cavity.

2. Place the chicken (and neck if available) in a pot just large enough to hold them. Add the ginger, green onions, and sherry to the pot. Fill the pot with enough water to just cover the chicken by 1/2 inch.

3. Bring the water to a boil. Using a slotted spoon, skim away the brown scum that rises to the top and discard. Partially cover the pot and reduce the heat. Simmer the chicken 15 minutes.

4. Turn off the heat. Leave the chicken fully covered in the pot for 1 hour. Serve the meat and broth as a soup, or separately in other recipes. If desired, refrigerate overnight before use. Before serving, skim or remove the fat and discard the cooked ginger, garlic and green onions.

Cooking Methods

July 25, 2007 by · Comments Off on Cooking Methods 

You can, but you don’t have to, go vegan or grow your own vegetables, just to go green in the kitchen. This site is more about how you cook than what you eat. Not that organics and local foods aren’t important. They’re hugely important. But don’t we already get that message?

There are so many other ways not being addressed by media or publishers to reduce greenhouse gases and shrink your eco-footprint. The real news, the untold story, lies in the fuels you use, the method (steaming, boiling, baking, for instance), the cookware, and the clean-up. Let’s apply a concept of “bright green cooking,” very specific actions and totally practical plans that have more impact than “light green” steps alone, but are just as easy to do.

As a bonus, stretching energy consumption directly relates to saving time, too. Less time in the kitchen means fewer lights on, less cooking fuel used, and more personal time for you to do other things.

About Kate Heyhoe

July 18, 2007 by · Comments Off on About Kate Heyhoe 

kate heyhoe

In 1994, Kate Heyhoe launched the Web’s first food and cooking e-zine, GlobalGourmet.com (The Global Gourmet) http://www.foodwine.com where she says, “At Global Gourmet, we bring you the world on a plate.” From 1995 to 2000, Kate and her partner Thomas Way produced two food sites for America Online, where Julia Child and Jacques Pepin each made their online debuts. The award-winning Global Gourmet site sports a coveted pair of “sunglasses” in Yahoo’s recipe site category, and for more than a decade has been deeply linked though all search engines, reaching more than 350,000 unique readers per month.

Recently, she uploaded the entire contents of her first book, Cooking with Kids For Dummies, to her site at CookingWithKids.com. The site is getting rave reviews.

Kate’s books have been praised by Mollie Katzen (who also wrote a foreword), Martin Yan, Mary Sue Milliken, Graham Kerr, James McNair, Michael Chiarello, Marcel Desaulniers, and even AOL’s Steve Case, among others. Her books include:

Great Bar Food at Home (John Wiley & Sons, Oct. 2007)
The Stubb’s Bar-B-Q Cookbook (John Wiley & Sons, April 2007)
A World Atlas of Food (McGraw-Hill, 2006)
Macho Nachos (Clarkson-Potter, 2004)
Harvesting the Dream: The Rags-to-Riches Tale of the Sutter Home Winery (Wiley, 2004)
A Chicken in Every Pot: Global Recipes for the World’s Most Popular Bird (Capital, 2003)
Cooking with Kids For Dummies (IDG Books, 1999)

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”) is the working title for Kate Heyhoe’s eighth book. Cooking Green was published by Da Capo Books (Perseus Books Group) in 2009.

Kate has appeared in two national television satellite tours, as well as on CBS’ “The Early Show” (Chef on a Shoestring; Super Bowl 2005 segment), and other stations. Hundreds of articles about Kate and/or Global Gourmet have appeared in media as diverse as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Los Angeles Times, Parade, FoodArts; WOR, Bloomberg, and Sony World Wide radio networks. She has written for Better Homes & Gardens, Saveur, Cooking Pleasures, Chile Pepper, Great Chefs, and other magazines.

Kate is a former Production Manager for Warner Bros. and other Hollywood studios, where she balanced the creative, financial, and administrative demands of entertainment media. She speaks frequently at industry conferences, including those of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP), Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR), and the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).

Cooking Green: the New Green Basics Cookbook

July 17, 2007 by · 5 Comments 

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?

Cooking Green

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

 

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!

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