Cool Cuisine Takes A Bite Out Of Global Warming

Cool Cuisine Book Cover Image
It's no secret that the global food system contributes a huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere. According to Laura Stec, author of Cool Cuisine: Taking The Bite Out Of Global Warming, ag contributes 14% of total global emissions. When you consider the overuse of petro-chemical inputs, meat-centric diets, and the long haul of imported foods there are some obvious opportunities to reduce the absolute emission numbers associated with our diet.

Stec and co-author, and meteorologist, Dr. Eugene Cordero have written a very readable blow-by-blow account of where our food system falls short and how we can make food choices to help mitigate global warming. In her book's preface Stec outlines her motivation for writing Cool Cuisine.

Today's industrial-chemical-agricultural-marketing system is stealing [the ritual of cooking and eating] away, offering us a less healthy, less tasty food system where price and portability are king, and pollution, global warming, and a host of other planetary ills are icing on the cake. By reconnecting to the sources of our food, however, and acknowledging teh central role food plays in our lives, we can take that ritual back. And by valuing where our food comes from and the land, animals, and farmers who give it to us, food and eating can enrich our bodies as well as our minds and our spirits.

Stec's philosophy of eating is backed up by the contributions of Dr. Cordero. Part one of the book offers an overview of where carbon enters into - and is emitted from -the food chain, how food choices can reduce emissions, and how crops may be affected by a changing climate.

Part two looks at solutions. From eating local, organic, seasonal food to a study of the impact of different types of beef production. Also included are case studies of "innovative risk takers" like Google's Cafe 150, Kiteship, and Coskata, Inc., who are changing the way the food system runs.

And part three of Cool Cuisine takes a look at how you can bring climate conscious ingredients and ethics into your own kitchen. All of this is supplemented with recipes, sidebars, and "Book 'n' Cook Club Ideas".

This book is accessible enough for a sustainable eating neophyte and at the same time there's enough solid information to make this a compelling read for the converted.

Our food choices have an equal and possibly greater impact on global warming and the environment than our transportation does, for the bad as well as the good. Adapting agricultural, manufacturing, distribution, eating, and waste practices to be more in tune with nature is the next step toward a solution.

One of the most positive side effects we can have on the environment begins on our dinner plate, but climate is farm from the only reason to eat food that supports small family farms, sustainable agriculture, and traditional animal husbandry. We eat this way because it benefits our communities and brings us closer together. It also gives us tastier and healthier food.

We are guaranteed to have an effect because food is power. In fact, food is more powerful and can have an even larger effect than politics can. As unfortunate as it is in today's society, many of us don't like being involved in politics, but all of us like being involved with food. Everyone may not vote, but everyone eats.

More on Food and Global Warming
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Vegetarian Diet Could Cut Climate Change Mitigation Costs by 70%, If Enough Of Us Make the Switch
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Cut Global Warming by Becoming Vegetarian
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