photo: J. Novak
It's easy to get radical when faced with the blatantly unsustainable food system in this country, but the most obvious solution is much less sweeping than a revolt. We just need to learn how to cook, according to the Nation's Dan Barber.Eco-chef Dan Barber wrote in a recent article We Don't Need a Food Revolution, We Just Need to Learn How to Cook that our most effective tool in the fight against our unsustainable food industry is boning knifes and cast-iron skillets.
"A lack of technique behind the stove is, in the end, as complicit in harming human health and the environment as the confinement pig or the corn-fed steer," says Barber.
Learn to Cook, Save the Planet
One of the most pertinent reasons to learn to cook is the fact that you can control your own ingredients. The menu with the most vegetarian and vegan options is always the one you design yourself. And if you choose to eat meat you can control your serving sizes as well as buying free range, grass fed, and organic products. The traditional cuisines in most Asian and European countries are usually built around vegetables, legumes, and grains adding meat occasionally as a small portion of the plate. Where as in this country the meat is front and center while the sides play second fiddle, according to Barber.
Additionally, if you've ever felt racked with guilt after grabbing a takeout meal and filling the garbage can with one night's worth of trash, you're aware of the wasteful nature of eating out. Even if you choose takeout restaurants that offer biodegradable takeout containers, it still takes energy to produce them in the first place. Not to mention the fact that we tend to eat way more food when we go out to eat or get take out. If the food doesn't end up in the gullet, the oversized serving will likely end up in the compost or the trash, adding to a food waste problem.
When you do eat out, choose options that at least partially live up to your at home eating ethics and emphasize local, organic, and seasonal options.