I've been perusing Alexandra Zissu's new book, The Conscious Kitchen, lately. It's a current, thoroughly-researched, user-friendly reference for buying and cooking food that's good for you and the environment.
I especially liked her get-started "to do" list, which she calls Conscious Commandments (yes, there are 10). I think they're pretty spot-on (and the beauty of it is she actually tells you how to carry out each commandment in the book).
What are your conscious commandments? Alexandra Zissu's are:
- Eat less meat. When eating beef, seek out and choose grass-fed. Other meat and poultry should also be carefully sourced.
- Just say no to bottled water. Drink (filtered) tap instead. This will save money, too.
- Buy local organic or sustainable farmed fruits and vegetables. Don't forget that coffee and tea come from plants, and wine is made from grapes; choose sustainable versions.
- Eat only the least contaminated sustainably harvested wild or well-sourced farmed seafood.
- Always consider packaging when shopping. Choose items packed in materials you can reuse or that can be recycled in your municipality. Buy bulk items instead of overpackaged goods. Always shop with reusable bags.
- Cook at home. Often. And serve only on reusable dishware, not disposable. Clean with eco-friendly products.
- Avoid plastic as often as you can.
- Try composting, even if you live in a city or a house without a yard.
- Whenever possible, reduce energy use in the kitchen by choosing efficient appliances, cooking methods, and dishwashing practices; don't leave appliances plugged in when not in use; ask your electric company for alternative energy sources like wind power.
- Spread the word. Educate everyone you know. Green your office kitchen, your kids' school kitchen, your friends and relatives' kitchens. Make noise; together we can make a huge difference.
Do these 'commandments' work for you? Are they do-able? Or would you change something?