by Carmen Schwartz
There are so many things out there to save energy in your own home. From geothermal heating and cooling systems to using LED lights, the list is endless. Even in this day and age of fast food – however unlikely this fact may seem – people still spend a great amount of time in their kitchens. And when it comes to having a green kitchen, there are literally dozens of ways and a multitude of products that have been created to save energy, not to mention money.
The definition of green cooking is simply to cook in ways that help protect the planet. There are lists of what to avoid in order to keep your carbon footprint down while creating the perfect aromas for that family dinner.
At the top of most lists is the subject of buying in bulk. Foods need to be packed safely and efficiently, and when buying in bulk, a person makes sure to provide safety for their family. If purchasing products in bulk, you cause no extra waste that needs to be recycled and save money in the process.
Try never to buy vegetables at the store if you can help it. If there is time to fill, creating a garden for the family is not only a good thing, but guarantees that no chemicals will be found on the food. Also, grabbing that tomato becomes absolutely free of charge when it’s sitting in your own backyard.
When it comes to the appliance side of things, saving energy is an easy thing to do. On a 6-inch burner, a 6-inch pan is needed; using something smaller is silly considering that by doing this you waste over 40% of the heat. Metal pans are fine, but glass pans in the oven are way more green. With a glass pan, cooking temperatures are met easily and more quickly than with metal, seeing as that the heat takes longer to get through the metal coating. The food cooks faster and uses less electricity.
Also, using other appliances besides a stove is a huge help when it comes to saving energy. A toaster oven is absolutely the correct choice for smaller meals; they are time and energy efficient. But if larger meals are what’s on tap, cooking many servings at one time and then freezing some for future use is also encouraged.
But that’s only a start. Cookware, electricity usage, recycled materials – these are all fine and good. But for the actual nutrition you want to provide your family, you have to think about serving the right foods.
There are many organic foods to be chosen, coming from a farm that does not use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. There are no industrial solvents or chemical food additives when it comes to organic farming, and is literally the one thing that created the Green Revolution back in the 1940s.
It’s always been stated that fresh fruits and vegetables are a must for a healthy diet to be maintained. And with more and more headlines aimed at childhood obesity and the harmful effects that this disease has created is alarming. It’s not only physical health that’s declining in our kids, it is the mental trauma they are dealing with from bullies.
So when it comes to cooking, look for the right cookbooks – or the right people out there to provide support. Joy H. Feldman is one advocate doing a great deal to stop childhood obesity. A writer, lecturer, nutritional consultant and more, Ms. Feldman is the author of an amazing book, Joyful Cooking in the Pursuit of Good Health. This compilation of recipes and knowledge literally shows families how to save money, cook green, reduce their carbon footprint, and restore a nutritional plan to the household.
But it doesn’t stop there. Her work has also brought about a ‘Nutrition Revolution’ in the state of Rhode Island (soon to be released nationwide), in the form of a children’s series that began with, Is Your Hair Made of Donuts? Receiving an award from the RI House of Representatives, this is a series that teaches children all about nutrition while having a whole lot of fun at the same time.
So when the subject of green cooking is being spoken about, make sure that all subjects are covered. By saving electricity, to growing gardens, to buying in bulk and eating the right foods – the Green Revolution could build momentum once again and stop child obesity in its tracks.