Sustainability is the word of the hour. One of the ways you can be so? Sustainable cooking. What is it? How can you be sustainable in the kitchen? Read on to find out!
Our planet will have to feed about 1.5 billion more people by the year 2050. But at the rate at which we're burning our resources, we will only be able to feed half of that population. Scary, isn’t it? There are more people to feed each passing year. But farmlands remain more or less the same. How do we produce what everyone needs without exhausting the planet? Almost half of the earth’s forest cover is already gone. Farming being the leading cause of deforestation.
The way forward is thinking sustainably. From sustainable farming practices to sustainable cooking. We’ve put together this blog to address any questions you might have on the topic. Starting from what sustainable cooking is, to how you can do it too!
What is Sustainable cooking?
Sustainable cooking is all about consuming and cooking food mindfully. It’s about making sure that what we buy and how we use it has little to no toll on the environment. Sustainable cooking doesn’t start in your kitchen. It starts with how your food is harvested. Does the farm use chemicals? Do the farmers treat the soil correctly?
How do we know all of this as consumers? It's hard. But, we can choose to buy from local organic farms. Organic farms take multiple steps to ensure that their crops and their farmlands are treated right.
How do I practice sustainable cooking?
1. Take the time to learn how your food is grown
When you buy your groceries, take a minute to understand how it’s grown. Where is it grown? Are they organic? Do the farmers use sustainable practices?
Organic/Natural farmers use chemical-free pesticides and make use of eco-friendly practices to harvest their crops. As a result, they have a profound effect on the surrounding ecosystem. Ranging from a decrease in soil erosion to chemical-free groundwater.
2. Eat more plants
According to researchers, eating more plants and fewer animal products can prevent up to 11 million premature deaths from chronic diseases every single year. Rearing animals also take up more land and water than plants do.
3. Eat local and seasonal
So, you’re eating your fruits and veggies and you pick up organic food whenever possible. What else can you do? Make sure you eat seasonally. Seasonal produce is fresher and will be more nutrient-rich than its frozen counterparts.
If your food is travelling around the world to reach your plate, it’s using up energy and expending greenhouse gases. Just buy what’s available in your region instead. Generally, these foods won’t have to be frozen nor will they have to take a long trip to get to your home.
4. Get creative
When you're perhaps a day or two away from your routine grocery run, you might not have a lot to work with in your pantry. Perhaps you have a few veggies that have been sitting in the fridge for too long. Instead of throwing them away, get creative with how you use them! Don't let them go to waste. Invent a new dish, or fuse two cuisines together! In other words, allow your imagination and creativity to run wild.
5. One-pot meals
One-pot meals are easy to cook and saves you cooking gas too! Besides, you'll only have one pot left in the sink once you're done. Making it absolutely perfect for a busy night. Indian households are not new to one-pot meals. Tomato rice or pulao can easily be whipped up in a single cooker. You don’t have to be bound to these ones though. Remember, Get Creative!
6. Eco- friendly cookware
The kind of cooking equipment you use matters just as much as what goes into them. Don’t throw away anything just yet. Make use of what you have, but if you need something new, choose wisely. Ditch Teflon coated pots and pans. Use ceramic ones instead. Ceramic does not wear out nor does it release harmful chemicals like Teflon. Try earthenware, like clay pots. Not only are they great at containing heat, but they’re safe for you too. If you live in an area where there’s a lot of sunlight, try out a solar cooker. Minimising the usage of gas or electricity is a huge win when it comes to cooking sustainably.
To summarize, sustainable cooking practices reduce wastage of food and other resources. This is essential to move towards securing food security. Organic farming methods treat the environment fairly and make sure that we aren’t depleting the soil of its natural properties. Studies have proven that organic farming has short and long term benefits when it comes to soil health. Thus resulting in more yield without stripping the soil of its benefits.
Changing our cooking methods to reduce waste, conserve energy and water is necessary to to reduce our impact on the environment. In short, sustainable cooking has many ripple effects. It can have a tremendously positive impact on people worldwide. Right now, and in the years to come. So, make the switch!
Have you tried sustainable cooking yet? Tell us your experience!
- Curated by Aishwarya Muralidhar