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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Being a conscious cook

#2: Everyone who cooks is often multi tasking…watching jeopardy, the news, on the phone, etc.  Since I currently have time to spend my full thinking power on a meal I can be very efficient with the order of my cooking, and the timing of preheating an oven or boiling water.  I think over the past few months I’ve developed a cooking clock that I did not have before.  Rather than preheating your oven at the start, it may take you twice as long to prepare the dish, so why not save (very little) energy.  Additionally I try to minimize the amount of knives, bowls, kitchenware that i use/dirty to limit the amount of dishes later on (for sustainability and ease).  I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to use the wrong tool for the job, but just be aware of the order of your cooking.   I recognize these are such miniscule changes to the big picture, but I think being conscious of your cooking makes you more aware of other areas for improvement.

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I came across an ‘Economist’ lecture series on architecture, and have been browsing through videos.  I was impressed with comments by Liz Diller a NY architect who’s firm has some amazing work (http://www.dsrny.com/).   My particular favorite was the high line project.  I’m thinking a trip to NYC is necessary.

I know there are sections of rail line up the bay area peninsula…they’re not elevated or nearly as urban as the NYC scape, but it might be an opportunity to create a unique park experience.  Although I’m guessing these rail lines might be used for high speed rail…which would be a better use of the land.

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Methods for Cooking Green

It’s not just about what your cooking, it’s how you do it.

#1. The best thing you can do is eat everything you buy.  This is something I struggle with, especially when cooking for one.  Using leftover ingredients before they go bad, or eating everything you cooked can be a tough task, and often has you struggling through a final night of the same meal.

Solution: Just force yourself to push through a final night of finishing off leftovers.  I’m trying to develop recipes that can be altered into something different.  I try to have at least one new side dish each night as well to provide some variation.  As for leftover ingredients, so far i’ve been able to use most half vegetables and what not in either an omelet or a stirfry.  The toughest thing for me to finish off has been a half of an eggplant and leftover vegetable broth.

*more on this to continue

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I know everyone knows the basics of “sustainability” by now.  We’ve all been subject to the inconvenient truth, the random public service announcements that suggest everyone get the pig tail bulbs and use canvas bags for groceries.  This blog is not intended to re-iterate those known ways to be green but to introduce new creative ideas that make sustainable choices (specifically diet) convenient and enjoyable.

The majority of people I meet, many of whom want to be green, or think of it as an important cause, usually lack the effort to do things as simple as using a canvas bag (“but I have to remember to bring it”).  The idea of the blog is to provide sustainable options that don’t sacrifice, but rather are clearly the more enjoyable path.

The website is mostly a means for me to keep track of three areas that I enjoy spending my time doing, but have been neglecting while in college.  Cooking, sketching and guitar are all activities (Mactivities) that have been lacking in my life, and this blog is hopefully a means of motivation for me to pursue these areas more actively.

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Sustainability: My main reason for eating less meat, and as a result more vegetables is for sustainability purposes.  I don’t have any issues with eating meat (i still do) but I recognize that my previous diet was an unbalanced, unsustainable one.

Water: We all have heard water is the most valuable resource of the future.  It takes much less water to produce vegetables than meat.  Within the category of meat to produce one serving of chicken requires about 1/4 less water than one serving of beef.

Variety: As much as I love steak, burgers, and turkey, there are a lot of things I have never tried before.  Until a year ago, I don’t think I ever ordered off a vegetarian menu except for maybe pasta at an Italian restaurant.  This experience has and will introduce healthier, new tastes to my diet.  My goal is to find recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor but that actually taste better vegetarian.

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