What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

The most sustainable meal I've ever cooked?

We've had a cool spell here in the foothills of the Appalachians in North Carolina. It has brought very welcome rain, and relief from the early and impending heat of summer. With temps down in the upper 40's at night and damp seeping in through our barely opened windows, we've decided to fire up the wood stove again. It hasn't done much for our productivity. Now neither of us seem to be able to leave the room with the wood stove in! It's so cozy to sit by a fire and watch the rain outside.

But we have to eat. We've used up the last of the 25lb bag of organic brown rice so I have opened some of the multicolored local (50 miles) rice. I'll pull some onions from the east garden, dig up some wild crow garlic from the borders, clip some collard and turnip greens from the west garden, add some parsley from the herb bed, throw in some ground beef from local (30 miles) grass fed cows, and cook the whole mess on the wood stove in the pressure cooker.
pressure cooker sizzling away

To be fair, I have added 4 chopped organic carrots shipped from California, a heavy dose of imported curry powder (fortified with our own turmeric root) and a dollop of Italian extra virgin olive oil. But these ingredients amount to less than 10% of the overall meal. The wood is all rescued from the neighborhood waste stream so I'm wondering if this might be the most sustainable meal I've ever cooked.

I've experimented with low impact cooking before, check out these posts about my Free From Power Days in England.

While the cooking itself was probably more fuel efficient with the rocket stove, I was using scrounged fuel then as well but far less of it by weight, this time I'm cooking mostly food we've grown or was grown locally. In addition, the warmth of the wood stove is welcome in these cool temps. So while this is not another Free From Power Day I think it is a good step forward towards making our mealtimes more sustainable.

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