Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Sustainable Kitchen

Been attending excellent sustainability workshops by Creative Green that will continue through the fall. This past Saturday was The Sustainable Kitchen. The first part was talking about each person's relationship to food. What had we eaten in the last 24 hours and what did it mean? I happened to carelessly stuff pieces of tofu in my mouth using my fingers half sitting in my chair while trying to explain something to my mom with my mouth full. This boiled down to lack of mindful eating often resulting in over-eating. On the flip side, I had also got off the freeway to get a carrot juice even though I knew it would mean getting stuck in traffic because I felt myself coming down with a cold. It was in this case that I slowed down and listened to what my body needed.

The second part was about food, our kitchen set ups, and ways to be sustainable throughout our busy urban lives. Talked about organic on a budget - what foods we really should buy organic and which ones don't need to be. In general, thick skins mean more protection from pesticides. Just some of the other things discussed were safe pots, the microwave, plastic, food storage, and even solar ovens.... On my immediate list - slowly changing out my teflon pans to stainless steel or iron and starting a small herb garden.

I've been greening for the last year or so, but it seems that I'm still far behind! I like that Deborah, the teacher who happened to live as monk for 7 years, always says to leave all judgment at the door. There is no room for feeling bad. She recommends keeping a green acknowledgment list to focus on the things we have done!

Menu planning is also key to a sustainable kitchen - we must accept that no matter what, this requires extra time. This morning, we went to farmer's market, came home, made a fresh from the market lunch, used last week's tired veggies for vegetable stock, and then prepped washed and stored all the produce for easy access. So far, this will be our plan every Sunday and we will do our best keep it! Above is the photo of the veggie stock in crock pot. May be a little too many onions, but I hope to use it to make carrot ginger soup this week.

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