Friday, September 21, 2007

Reduce the Carbon Footprint of your Food!

I always thought it was crazy to transport food half around the world if the same can be grown nearby. I noticed during my last trip to my parents in Germany that almost all the potatoes and onions sold in the local supermarket came from Australia! I don't think the price of food reflects the true environmental cost of transporting the things we eat. We clearly need a world-wide carbon tax and a greater awareness among consumers as to the impact of food production and transport.

I grow most of our vegetables in our garden and preserve the surplus. This saves transport costs, ensures that we have fresh, organically grown produce all year round and it is also a major money-saver.

I always cook from scratch with fresh ingredients. I reckon this is a good way to lose weight or stay slim - eat whatever you like as long as you make it yourself and grow most of your own produce. You get plenty of exercise in the garden and there is a limit to how much you can actually make to eat...

I use the least amount of water possible to wash vegetables and to cook.

Once the cooking water for eggs or pasta has reached boiling point, leave the lid on but turn the heat right off, at least on an electric cook top. There will be enough heat left to cook the pasta and boil the eggs. In fact, this is the best way to cook eggs as they will be perfect each time and they are far less likely to break in the process!

We have significantly reduced the amount of meat we eat.

I make good use of my slow cooker and the pressure cooker, both of which help conserve energy when cooking. Leaving the lid on while cooking is another important way of saving energy.

I make enough sour dough bread for one week in one sitting, thus reducing the use of my oven. Sour dough bread keeps well outside the fridge if kept in a cotton bag or a clay pot (a "Römertopf" is perfect). I will publish some bread recipes in later posts.

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