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Sustainable Cooking

Updated on January 14, 2022
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Bob is a permaculture designer and a plant friend. His ebook From My garden is widely available


Nature Working
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Sustainable Cooking

Change begins with us, to paraphrase Pogo, we have seen the enemy and he is us. Start by examining your food choices, What do you buy? Where did it originate? How far did it travel from where it was grown to where it was consumed?

We can make a difference.

Each one of us has the means and ability to embrace change simply by taking a look at our relationship to food; where we buy it, what we buy and how we prepare it, all three are venues for personal and social change.

Reduce the amount of meat you eat or buy that meat that is raised and slaughtered locally and you are changing your behaviour. Start a local food buying club and engage others who are willing to make the same or similar change and the personal change begins to take on social dimensions.

Buy as much of your food from local growers and producers and you help to strengthen the local economy.

In the kitchen, reduce waste through composting, even if you do not garden, a friends, neighbour or family member may appreciate your compost and be happy to pick it up when it is ready. You may even be able to trade the compost for another item.

When it comes to energy use, solar cooking may be the best way to go and in the summer months, maybe you can set up a solar cooker for weekend gatherings. For conventional cooking be sure your stove is an energy-efficient model.

Stove: Tips

 Use the burner which is the closest match to pot size. Heat is lost and energy is wasted if burner size is larger than pot size.

 Use lids on pots and pans so you can cook at lower settings.

 Make sure the oven door seal is tight. Avoid opening oven door while baking - each time the door is opened, about 20% of the inside heat is lost.

 Turn oven off a few minutes before food is ready and let oven heat finish the job.

 Gas stoves: electronic ignition will use about 40% less gas than a pilot light.

Your choice of cookware can also make a difference; a good stainless steel set will get the job done and use less heat while doing so. I recently bought a new set of pots and pans and this was one of the reasons I choose the set I did. It does work; I am cooking my meals, on a lower setting in the same or less time.

The place where you purchase your food can be the beginning place for positive change, closely followed by your food choices and how you cook what you buy.


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