While more people are moving towards a greener lifestyle, the best place to initiate your eco-friendly journey starts from your kitchen.
You can save energy, lower carbon footprint, save costs and enjoy a healthy lifestyle through the food you consume daily.
Eco-friendly cooking not only safeguards you from harmful fats and chemicals but also saves the environment from long-term damage.
Millennials and Gen-Z'ers are specifically constantly on the look for options that can help them cook more efficiently. For example, eco-friendly kitchen appliances can help reduce monthly costs on energy.
You can reduce your supermarket bills by reusing products like glass containers and aluminum foils. Furthermore, buying food in larger quantities and ensuring nothing goes to waste can also help save money.
But the term 'eco-friendly cooking' entails a lot more than just that. Read on as we elaborate:
What Is Eco-Friendly Cooking?
Eco-friendly cooking involves cooking and eating habits that do not risk the safety of your health and the environment.
Traditional food production techniques emit greenhouse gases that can damage the ozone layer and contribute to global warming.
Moreover, when you shop locally or visit a supermarket, have you ever wondered where your purchased ingredients are sourced from?
Most people consider organic food to be environmentally friendly. Still, a recent study found out that some organic foods can have an even worse effect on the environment than non-organic foods.
As a result, eco-friendly cooking methods are essential to control climate change, especially in third world countries where cooking food on stoves and open environments is very common.
Cooking Methods That Can Risk The Environment
Cooking and heating food over a stovetop has become extremely common in the United States.
However, people fail to realize that this cooking method can be very harmful to the environment and their health.
Leaving the food on the stove for too long or burning it produces smoke which pollutes the air inside and outside the house.
The smoke and grease can also travel through pipelines and exhaust hoods and flow into sewers, causing water pollution.
The damage caused by grilling largely depends on the fuel source. For example, wood pallets do not require gas or electricity and are renewable.
Moreover, they are more efficient and more eco-friendly than coal, minimizing the number of resources used for cooking.
A stovetop and deep fryers can have substantial adverse effects on the environment. For example, oil evaporation can cause grease to accumulate in the exhaustion hoods and pipelines.
These ultimately solidify and block the sewage and exhaustion pipes. In addition, disposing of the oil outdoors can also be toxic for plants and animals.
Eco-Friendly Cooking Options
Becoming a vegetarian and eating less meat can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and its harmful impact on the environment.
However, some people find it very challenging to shift towards a vegan lifestyle. Not a lot of people would like to eat pants for the rest of their lives. There are several options to make a difference without completely changing your lifestyle:
- Try to reduce your meat intake to once per week
- You can gradually cut down on your dairy consumption and eventually altogether remove it from your eating habits
- You can also heat your food in the microwave at lower temperatures or cook slower on the stove to prevent gas emissions
- If you do not cook food at home, consider purchasing food from a local supplier that sells eco-friendly or vegan food
- Check the labels before buying anything
- Visit restaurants that rely on eco-friendly methods
- Having an environmentally-friendly kitchen can help develop a safe routine for your health and the environment you live in
Without further ado, here's how you can create a more eco-friendly kitchen:
Reusable shopping bags can help reduce the amount of plastic filling up landfills or ending up at the bottom of the ocean floor. Find bags made of cotton or natural cloth or mesh.
Sustainable Kitchen Appliances
Preparing food using sustainable kitchen appliances like eco-friendly cutting boards and eco-friendly cooking utensils can significantly reduce the impact on the environment.
Harvested from a sustainable and natural source, wooden cutting boards can be a safe and beautiful addition to the kitchen. And variants – like bamboo boards – can even reduce the growth of microbes.
Additionally, eco-friendly cooking pans, such as heavy-duty stainless steel pans, are non-stick and do not release harmful chemicals into the air.
Moreover, cooking enthusiasts must use ceramic, metal, and glass appliances to maintain a safe and healthy home during cooking and baking.
Green Home Appliances
Having green home appliances also helps maintain a safe environment. This can include an eco-friendly coffee-making machine or an eco-friendly exhaust fan.
You and your family members will be able to breathe clean air and help live a happier and healthier lifestyle if you continue to rely on such technology.
Hence, it is an ideal way to improve your family's health while ensuring that the environment stays safe as well.
What Are Eco-Friendly Meals?
Your kitchen accounts for one-third of your home's energy use. And the majority of that energy consumption comes from cooking.
Therefore, most of our personal carbon footprints extend from that room, making it the first area to begin eco cost-cutting efforts,
However, taking care of the planet does not necessarily mean that you need to become vegan. Here are some ways you can make your meals more eco-friendly and live a healthy lifestyle as well:
Blueberry Slush With Papaya
Buying frozen fruits can help prevent food waste and energy. Therefore, this recipe only includes two ingredients.
Perhaps the best thing about it is that it is a dessert that does not require any added sugar. Perfect for a hot summer day, the blueberry slush provides a refreshing and cooling effect.
Tomato Quinoa Salad with Asparagus
This entire recipe can be cooked in just one pan and does not require any meat. Therefore, it rids you of the guilt of investing in animal harvesting processes.
Moreover, since this is a one-pan recipe, it does not require a lot of water to wash, clean, and rinse the utensils.
Tomato quinoa salads can be prepared in under 30 minutes. The dish is full of flavor, mainly because it has peppers, cumin, and garlic.
Additionally, the asparagus adds to the texture of the dish while giving the other ingredients something to latch on to.
Sweet Potato Kebabs
These vegetarian kebabs are entirely meat-free. And by consuming less meat, you can significantly reduce water consumption as well.
Remember, cooking and washing meat uses up a lot of water. Therefore, if your pantry is low on ingredients, sweet potato kebabs are a great way to create something quickly using fewer components.
These soft potato patties are full of protein and flavor. Additionally, you can also add black beans to enhance the overall taste of this dish.
And what makes it a winner is the traditional South Asian spices. So remember to add sweet potatoes to your next eco-grocery list!
Chickpea Wraps With Eggplant And Berries
This meal is entirely made using leftovers. Hence, making this for lunch can significantly reduce your food wastage.
The decomposing food in landfills emits methane which is a greenhouse gas. As a result, it is encouraged to use leftover ingredients to produce dishes that can be consumed every day.
The Chickpea wrap is a Middle-Eastern dish that is fresh, crunchy, and tasty at the same time. The Goji berries add a tangy flavor to the entire meal, enhancing the overall appeal and taste.
Benefits Of Eco-friendly Meals And Cuisines
In today's diet-conscious world, people have become more mindful of their daily food consumption. Therefore, the daily intake of organic and eco-friendly foods has dramatically increased.
Understanding what you consume daily is essential as the right food choices can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a healthy environment.
Adopting a healthy and nutritious lifestyle is necessary for both personal health and the environment. Moreover, consuming organic foods prevents people from intaking harmful chemicals and oils while maintaining a sustainable environment.
With that said, here are some of the advantages of consuming eco-friendly meals and cuisines:
Since organic fruits and vegetables are grown using natural methods of agriculture, they sustain higher quality than most other locally sold fruits and vegetables.
These foods are not treated with wax or preservatives, ridding them of toxins. In addition, the use of natural fertilizers maintains the flavor of the produce.
Free From Harmful Chemicals
Chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides are used in conventional agriculture. And these can be dangerous for human health if consumed.
Additionally, these chemicals can pose a significant risk to children and pregnant women. This is because they contain toxins that can cause cancer, tumors, heart diseases, infertility, and other immunity disorders.
In contrast, organic farming relies on naturally-derived pesticides instead of synthetic pesticides. Since these pesticides are organic, they don't cause health issues.
Since organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy products are not treated with harmful chemicals and preservatives, they aren't burdensome for the environment.
Pesticides containing toxic chemicals can contaminate the surrounding water, soil, and plants while endangering the health of farmers.
On the other hand, farmers use natural cultivation methods to reduce pollution, conserve water, and sustain the soil's fertility in organic farming.
This can slow down the effects of climate change in the long run and protect the environment from global warming.
Free From Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
The structural DNA of animals and plants is changed through genetic engineering to produce Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Scientists usually perform genetic engineering to improve the nutritional quality of food and to include specific traits.
However, these GMOs have higher levels of toxins and chemicals which can cause organ damage if consumed often. Non-GMO foods contain better nutrients such as:
- Omega fatty acids
Top Eco-Friendly Ingredients
It's never been easy to build an eco-friendly kitchen. However, some forward-thinking companies have developed ways to add eco-friendly ingredients to your kitchens.
Hence, here are some eco-friendly ingredients to add to your kitchen and maintain a chemical-free, healthy lifestyle.
This cashew-based brie is made using wild lactic acid culture and an artisanal fermentation process. Fermented, plant-based food is very good for your health as it produces less pollution than animal-based ingredients.
Plant milks such as nut milks are healthy and delicious at the same time. In addition, they offer certain nutrition properties that are not found in dairy milk.
Also, these plant milks are shelf-stable and do not pose a risk to the environment. As a result, there is no need to keep them consistently refrigerated – further reducing shelving costs.
The pure, organic Okara flour is gluten-free and is created using pulp leftover from soy milk. This four has four times more protein, fiber, calcium, and iron.
Ready To Safeguard Your Health?
There you have it! Everything you need to know about eco-friendly meals and cuisines and how you can develop a healthier lifestyle while sustaining the environment.
Try out some of the delicious meals we've mentioned and see if the lifestyle suits you! But, of course, it's always better to try and rid your body of the nasty things you ingest as part of a traditional American diet.
However, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the change, why not look for an organic cooking instructor from Superprof.
Superprof is a platform that connects teachers and students, and it will offer you, life coaches, cooking instructors, and even composting specialists to help you become more eco-friendly.
The platform that connects tutors and students