(image: flikr, autan)

(image: flikr, autan)

In her book, Cooking Green: Reducing Your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen – The New Green Basics Way, Kate Heyhoe, editor of www.globalgourmet.com, suggests ways of reducing our carbon “cookprint”, defined as the entire chain of resources from acquiring food, preparing it and the waste produced in the process.  Everyone that eats has a “cookprint” whether you cooked it or someone else did.

Her approach is practical: What can I do with what I have?  No kitchens have to be redesigned, no appliances have to be replaced; it’s all about being more thoughtful and efficient.  Take your refrigerator – the optimum overall safe temperature range is 37-40 degrees, for meats 31-36, dairy 33-38, fruits and veggies 35-40.  Kate suggests storing meats in a lower drawer with chilled freezer packs.  This way they are kept cooler without expending more energy.  Extending the freshness life of your food means you shop less frequently – which is also an energy saver.

Kate recommends lots of fuel saving cooking tips.  For example, when using the oven she forgoes pre-heating, just puts the food in, sets the temperature, and turns it off 15-20 minutes early.  The residual heat will continue to cook the dish.  She follows this same principle when cooking pasta.  Bring the pot of salted water to a boil, put in the pasta, cover it, bring it back up to a boil and let it continue to cook for 2 minutes, turn off the heat and leave the pot covered for the appropriate cooking time with an active flame.  The outcome is described to be perfect pasta.

Following her suggestions individually would make a difference; done collectively we could significantly decrease our carbon “cookprint” not just locally but globally.  Be sure to check out the website.

Debbie Jones-Steele


Have you tried any of these suggestions? What do you do to keep your “cookprint” low? Leave your Comments!