Monday, November 10, 2014

How to cook like Michael Pollen

Okay, okay, I don't necessarily believe that you need to cook like Michael Pollen -- but, I do like his explanations as to why eating wisely with the following 4 rules of eating is important. According to Michael Pollen,"between one-fifth and one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions result from our food system." 

In creating a time where cultural change is not only advantageous, but much needed to making a healthier and cleaner planet, it is equally important to educate consumers to make wiser choices with regard to being smarter consumers and eaters. Similarly, in promoting people to cook at home more, several benefits can be gained. 

By eating foods that have been carefully chosen, there would than be less reliance on those foods prepared by corporations where the ingredients or the quantities used are not known. This means that those that don't cook at home on a regular basis have no real knowledge of how much fat, sugar or salt is really consumed -- even though it may say the amount on the label. In fact, in Pollen's book, "Cooked", the argument for "taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable," is made. 

In addition to shopping at farmers' markets, growing vegetables, and carrying cloth grocery bags are great ways to help prevent climate change, Pollen offers other good practices that can reap excellent rewards when it comes to being more sustainable. 

1) Buy frozen. In the past, this had not even occurred to me to buy frozen on a regular basis. I thought "why should I" when I live in a continuously generous climate of 70 degree weather all year around. But, what do people that live in colder climates do? Upon doing more research between the difference of buying fresh vs. frozen vegetables for instance, "frozen vegetables may be even more healthful than some of the fresh produce sold in supermarkets, says Gene Lester, Ph.D., a plant physiologist at the USDA Agricultural Research Center in Weslaco, Texas. Why? Fruits and vegetables chosen for freezing tend to be processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed." 

2) Cooking at home. In the words of the famous Julia Child, "Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy." And, what do we value? 

3) Raid the refrigerator. Many times it is about being creative and cooking with the ingredients we already have in the refrigerator.

4) Make cooking an "equal opportunity" event where everyone participates -- husbands and kids.

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