Consumption is a human culture that makes it easy to forget that disposed paper goods, food, packaging, and other household waste don’t actually disappear after garbage collection.
Garbage, including what’s up for recycling continues to exist for several years. Therefore, reduced use of chemicals, cutting down on garbage output, and sustainable cooking techniques can go a long way in saving the earth.
Sustainable dietary is one way you can preserve the environment. Consume plant-based proteins in seasons, including fruits and vegetables and reduce meat consumption. This can help minimize the pressure exerted on natural resources such as land.
Minor dietary changes can benefit both your health and the environment. A study by the University of Manchester shows that food has a significant effect on the environment. This is due to the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) through various cooking techniques.
The type of food you eat, how it’s transported, it’s packaging, and how it’s cooked have an effect on climate change.
The type of food you eat, how it’s transported, its packaging, and how it’s cooked has an effect on climate change.
The study above indicates that cooking contributes up to 60% of the impact food has on the climate. This isn’t true when climate-friendly foods such as vegetables are cooked in the oven.
Pressure cookers and microwave ovens use less energy and take less time to cook food, hence have less impact on climate change.
GHG emissions related to food usually touch on the supply chain from retail to purchase. It leaves out consumption despite making up about 60% of all emissions in the food cycle. A reduction in these food processes can minimize their impact on the environment.
Sustainable cooking methods and techniques reduce greenhouse emissions to lower impact on the planet. Whether you’re planning a Christmas dinner or organizing a party for your loved one’s birthday, you can cook sustainably. Here’re some techniques to get you started:
- Reduce consumption of meat
Increased meat consumption leads to more greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to a flight from one city to another.
Prolonged oven-roasting of beef or lamb protein can lead to increased production of carbon dioxide gas. However, white meat such as turkey releases less GHG emissions into air than red meats. This makes turkey a more eco-friendly protein option than red meats.
When preparing chicken or turkey, embrace the whole bird. Use butter to sauté the livers for a quick snack you can take with crackers. And, the bones are perfect for cooking your favorite soup stock.
Meat-free protein alternatives have an even greater effect on the environment. Instead, opt for plant-based “meat” proteins.
However, modern freezing techniques can produce better tasting food of good quality. If frozen at sea, seafood improves in quality and can minimize food waste.
Eat farmed fish for sustainability. However, not all farmed fish are sustainable. Farmed trout, for example, offers healthy protein with little to no impact on the environment.
The affordability, versatility, and availability of farmed fish all year round is a great way to get started.
Lots of water, land, and energy resources go into raising animals, a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Global meat production (62.6 million tons in 2018) has a great impact on the environment and the planet.
Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are leading in creating delicious plant-based burgers for even the most staunch meat lovers.
Choose only sustainable seafood; use the Seafood Watch app to help you choose eco-friendly fish. Chefs believe that freezing fish alters its flavor and texture.
2. Choose green grilling stoves and ovens
The best propane grills are eco-friendly because they use green energy, but you should be careful with flare-ups. This reduces accidental fires when grilling red or white meats.
Select energy-efficient outdoor pizza ovens built to minimize pollution and negative impact on the environment. When selecting pizza ovens, one of the most popular brand is Ooni. Choose what suits your unique needs.
3. Reduce food waste
Do you need the actual amount of food you intend to cook?
Reduce portion sizes
Change how you prepare your foods.
Food waste also impacts the environment, leading to climate change. Mini roasts, buying less meats and separating meat into dark and light areas reduce waste. Cook food faster for a positive impact on the environment.
4. Reduce cook time
The manner in which food is cooked affects GHG emissions. The high energy demands of ovens and prolonged cooking of meat have an impact on the environment.
Reduced cook times decrease the amount of GHG emissions. You can cook your food in the microwave for some time before using your oven and rice cooker to complete the cooking process. It improves the taste and flavor of food.
Boiling, microwaving and steaming food such as fish, fruits, eggs, and veggies retain the vitamins and minerals that easily dissolve in water, in food. Just like reheating, frosting and preparing food, the cooking techniques have low impact on the environment.
“Sous vide,” (cooking ‘under vacuum) a cooking technique in French, also reduces impact on the environment by almost half. Add the food you want to roast in a pouch or vacuumed plastic bags.
Submerge it in a heated water bath for at least 8 hours, especially for dark meat. Unwrap your roast in a pre-heated pan.
Heat dark meat to 750C and white meat to 550C for safe consumption. This cooking method preserves the texture and flavor of your food, and so is the environment.
Consumption and other parts of the food cycle affect the supply chain. A slow cooker and an electric pressure use “boiling” as a great way to improve energy efficiency. Traditional cooking practices may also give similar sustainable results to ROI.
Cooking techniques such as boiling and steaming can lower the heavy impact that food has on the environment. Ultimately, you won’t just prepare tasty and delicious meals, but also save the planet from climate change.