Saturday, April 22, 2017

Foodie Footprint

Today is Earth Day, the day when we have to honor our planet as well as cleaning up our land and water. Yet foodies and home chefs can honor the planet all year round as well as reducing their carbon footprint.

One of the best ways to cut down on energy and pollution is buying local. This is easy as we head into the Spring planting and summer harvest season. Many groceries such as Stop & Shop, Acme and Shop Rite, here in New Jersey all by from local family farms. However, they also buy from South American and Mexican farms out of season too. Try to avoid these when you can. Another good place to source locally ground fruit and veggies is your local farmer’s market. They should be opening soon in cities and towns across America and offer a wide and delicious variety of garden variety and even unusual produce. Farmer’s markets are also great places to buy honey and all natural baked goods from family owned apiaries and bakeries , along with cheese and butter from local dairies. Of course the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is planting your own. Add more green to the environment by growing tomatoes and lettuce along with onions and carrots. Include some herbs too  to add zing to your organic meals. One of the most impactful gestures is canning. Preserving your fruits and vegetables for eating during the winter is a great idea. You don’t have to rely on foreign imports when winter comes. Just go to your pantry and pull out the green beans or cherries you preserved back in July and August.

How do you make your kitchen more energy efficient? Use your microwave instead f your oven. It takes less energy to cook food because the appliance uses heat to cook the food not the atmosphere around it as a traditional oven would. A microwave can save up to eighty per cent of power used to cook or warm up meals in an oven. Yet many eschew microwaves because of the health controversies surrounding them. This is fine because there are ways to make a stove and oven more energy efficient. Just make sure that the flame is fully underneath the cookware. This also applies to electric stoves too.Also use appropriate size pans for the job. Oversized ones will eat up too much energy and heat. They’re also cheaper too.Another must-do is don’t pose in front of the open fridge , wondering what to eat or drink.It accounts for up to seven per cent of refrigerator’s energy used. Opening the door lets warm air in which makes the fridge’s compressor has to drive it out while returning to a normal temperature for storing food.Decide what you want before you open the door.Also have an organized one too. Rooting around in it is the same as posing in front of it.Put the more popular items up front and don’t overload both the top and bottom.

Foodies can also do their part in saving the planet. Buy local. Be resourceful .Most importantly  - DON’T waste energy when you cook or store food!

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