My husband Thor and I love to have people over for dinner. At the same time I’m addicted to sociability, I ‘m also passionate about choosing food with the smallest possible carbon footprint (similar to ’embodied energy’). Our guests keep coming back, so I gather our cooking tastes pretty good.
Here are the major guidelines we use:
- Buying local food lowers carbon footprint more than the ‘organic’ label
Example: Australian wine doesn’t make the cut for Oregonians
- Build meals around what’s in season where you live
Examples: citrus & avocados in Sun Belt; salmon & pears in Northwest
- Avoid frozen food (freezing uses a lot of energy)
- Exception: unless frozen food clearly reduces your car-trips to the store
- Meat holds huge embodied energy, i.e. fossil fuel inputs
- So, use meat sparingly as an accent or not at all
- Build meals around pasta, beans, lentils, and whole grains
- Right-size our servings of food
- I.e., a normal serving of pasta is the size of one’s fist
Sidebar: When it comes to a quick bite out, we find that Burgerville is very diligent about sourcing from local farmers. And I understand they treat their employees well, too.