I like to think of Earth-friendly food as “Eco-friendly fare”, for the reference to the ecological and economical benefits these meals usually bring. Eating green can be defined as the purchasing of local and/or organic items, occasional meatless meals, and homemade goods versus plenty of packaged items. Karen Humphrey has some great tips on getting back into cooking from scratch; better for your health and the environment.
If you can, shop local and organic when possible. The easiest way to purchase local foods is to eat what’s in season. This will also be the least expensive way to feed your family. Freeze summer fruits and vegetables for winter consumption instead of purchasing foods, which travel thousands of miles from warmer climates.
Studies have shown that if North Americans skipped one meat meal every week, the savings on pollutants in the air would be equivalent to removing hundreds of thousands of cars off the road during rush hour traffic. A winning solution for the environment, for sure. For those concerned about economics (and who isn’t today), meatless meals are less draining on the wallet, as the meat element is often the most expensive.
Anything homemade is sure to be more earth friendly than items that are processed and packaged. Think simple soup stocks, homemade salad dressings, baked goods, granola and so much more. Purchase items in bulk and make your own pantry staples this spring. Your wallet, and landfill sites, will thank you.
Here are a few other earth-friendly kitchen and cooking tips to implement with your family this spring:
BYOB – Bring Your Own Bag
Ditch the supermarket plastic ones, and bring your own reusable shopping bags when heading out for a shopping trip.
No More Water
Forgo the temptation to purchase bottled water, and outfit your faucet with a water filter instead.
Take those scraps of food and toss them in a backyard compost bin instead of your garbage can. Use the nutrient-dense compost in your garden the following spring.
Salt, baking soda and vinegar are your best friends when it comes to kitchen cleaning. Scour, clean and deodorize with these items in lieu of harsh chemicals.