Move over, Eat Local. Kate Heyhoe challenges us to reduce our other food-related carbon footprint — our “cookprint.” Heyhoe’s latest book, Cooking Green, is based on the idea that how we cook can make as much an environmental difference as what we cook.
The book covers many of the current issues like food choices, food miles, food labels and sustainable seafood choices. It also ventures into some new territory with information on reducing packaging waste, greenest kitchen tools, kitchen waste and how to store foods to get the longest life from them.
Heyhoe defines cookprint as the entire environmental impact of a given meal, including the energy used to prepare it. The book includes and overview of just how much energy all types of household appliances use — and how to run these most efficiently. Further, the book compares different cooking methods, which are most efficient, and when to use each method. To complete the approach, Heyhoe also includes tips as to which foods cook faster and require less energy (the fossil kind) to prepare.
If the first section of the book gets you ready to shrink your cookprint, Heyhoe includes recipes that help give good examples of all the strategies in the book. Recipes include things like Gravalox, Hazelnut Chicken Salad on Napa Cabbage, and Meatless Moussaka, Lemon Mint Potato Salad, and even desserts like Cold-Oven Cove and Crystallized Ginger Cake.
The quick cook times and emphasis on more sustainable ingredients keeps the recipes pretty healthy and light on the time in the kitchen, an added bonus for those of us wanting to save our energy, too.