Kate's offers a chapter-by-chapter tour of her new Cooking Green cookbook, plus seasonal suggestions for Easter and Spring recipes.
by Kate Heyhoe
Kate's Newest Book Shrinks Your Cookprint
Daily Strategies for Lower Impact Living
Discover the next step in eco-friendly food and lifestyle—how to shrink your "cookprint."
Did You Know...12% of greenhouse gas emissions (or 14,160 pounds of CO2 per household) result from just growing, shipping, and preparing our food.
How we cook is as important as what we cook. Fortunately, the kitchen is the place where you can make real green choices, and take direct control of your impact—through passive and active cooking strategies, water conservation tips, and low-carbon choices for cookware, appliances, foods, dining, and more. Save money and time, too, just by rethinking how you cook and eat.
Cooking Green is like having a personal eco-consultant at your side whenever you cook, shop or eat. You'll discover how to prepare favorite meals using less fuel and water, and make greener choices along the entire food chain, from field to market to home. The goal: lower your impact, and shrink your cookprint. Topics cover cookware from skillets to pressure cookers, appliances small and large, buying options from organics to packaging, and strategies that stretch from water heater to kitchen sink. This book is plump with value. Here's a snapshot of the content, with a tip from each chapter:
Chapter 1: Begin at the beginning. How much do you already know about fuel, water, and energy consumption? This chapter explains the fundamentals of how cooking works, and why.
Fact: Ovens waste as much as 94% of the fuel they consume. Solutions: Opt for stovetop cooking over oven cooking, or bake multiple items simultaneously to stretch your fuel use.
Chapter 2: Green up your kitchen zones. Refrigerators, cooking appliances (big and small), barbecuing, and the kitchen itself take the spotlight.
Fact: Garbage disposals waste fuel and water, and contribute to carbon footprints. The chewed up gunk goes to a water treatment plant, then the solids get sifted out and trucked to a landfill. This wastes water, electricity, and fuel for transport, and generates greenhouse gases (not to mention the manufacturing cookprint and inevitable repairs). Solutions: Compost, or scrape the dishes into the trash.
Chapters 3 through 5: Hands-on tactics for cooking green, with detailed methods and tips, flow through the middle of the book, from blue-oven cooking to green flame strategies on top of the stove.
Fact: Rapidly boiling water is the same temperature as gently boiling water. Solution: Turn down the heat once boiling is reached. (For a greener cookprint, check out passive boiling techniques, like blanching food and cooking pasta in sub-boiling water, to consume half the energy.)
Chapter 6: Does cookware make a difference? You bet it does, and this chapter delivers the lowdown on fuel-efficient cookware.
Fact: Thin, flimsy and Teflon-style pans wear out in one to five years; they use fuel inefficiently, and throwing them away grows your cookprint. Solution: Invest in cookware that lasts; the book recommends affordable, energy-efficient pieces, including new nonstick pans that are also nontoxic.
Chapters 7 and 8: Practical ways to shop smarter, eat greener, and consume less. Your cookprint includes the whole journey of food from farm to fridge to fork, from local pick-up truck to eighteen-wheelers with freezer containers. These chapters dive into which foods are better for the planet, deciphering food labels, choosing sustainable seafood, and greening your plate with meat or without, and they introduce an array of fuel-efficient ingredients that need little or no cooking, like Vietnamese rice-paper wrappers.
Fact: To create a single serving of steak requires 2,607 gallons of water; an almond serving requires 12 gallons, a chicken portion uses 408 gallons, and a serving of rice uses 36 gallons (source: U.S. Geological Survey). Solutions: Eat less beef, and more plant-based foods. Nuts are especially nutritious, loaded with protein, and highly sustainable.
Chapter 9: With food comes waste. You really can control how much excess food and packaging you create, and Chapter 9 shows you how to scale back. (Not all waste comes from your kitchen: the restaurants you pick make a difference, too.)
Fact: Liquid beverages weigh more, causing more greenhouse gases to be generated by their transport and packaging. Solutions: Use tap water instead of bottled water, and opt for powdered Gatorade over bottled, for instance.
Pick up your own low-impact copy of Kate Heyhoe's Cooking Green (printed on recycled paper with vegetable inks), and check out these links to learn more about the book and the New Green Basics of cooking, living and being green.
Buy Cooking Green
More at New Green Basics
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Copyright © 2009, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.
This page modified April 2009
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