Earth Day: Consejos de Cocina Sostenible

"Something I love about sustainable cooking is that it's not new, this is how our abuelas cooked" - Aymara Lucero, Concerned Cook

In a world where environmental awareness and sustainability are increasingly important, it’s worth noting that many of the practices we advocate for today in our kitchens are echoes of how our ancestors cooked. Across cultures, our forebearers often relied on local, seasonal ingredients, wasted little, and repurposed scraps creatively. In honor of Earth Month, let’s revisit these time-honored traditions, infusing them with a modern twist to make our kitchens not only more sustainable but also deeply connected to our culinary heritage.

Our friend, Aymara Lucero from Concerned Cook, focuses on teaching her community sustainable habits and easy, healthy recipes to lower food waste in Miami, Florida. For example, she reaches food waste recipes like repurposing soft tomatoes into tomato sauce for the local TV show Inside South Florida. Join us as we explore her practical and creative tips to transform your kitchen into a more sustainable space, celebrating the richness of gastronomy while honoring the wisdom of generations past and caring for our shared home, nuestra Tierra.

1. Choose local & seasonal ingredients

Support local farmers and reduce the carbon footprint of your meals by choosing ingredients that are in season and grown nearby. Not only does this support your local economy, but it also ensures fresher, tastier produce that hasn’t traveled long distances to reach your plate.

2. Minimize food waste in the kitchen

Be mindful of food waste by planning your meals, using leftovers creatively, and composting food scraps. Consider incorporating “root-to-stem” cooking techniques, using all parts of fruits and vegetables to minimize waste. Get creative with kitchen scraps by using them in homemade broths, stocks, or sauces. Vegetable peels, herb stems, and leftover bones can all be transformed into flavorful additions to your meals. By reducing the amount of food we throw away, we can lessen the environmental impact of landfills and conserve valuable resources.

3. Embrace veggie-forward foods

Reduce your carbon footprint by incorporating more plant-based proteins into your meals. Beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh are not only nutritious but also environmentally friendly alternatives to meat. When you do choose animal products, opt for sustainably sourced options such as organic, grass-fed meat and ethically caught seafood.

4. Conserve energy and water

Practice energy-efficient cooking by using appliances wisely and opting for energy-saving settings when possible. Consider using smaller appliances like toaster ovens or microwaves for smaller tasks instead of heating up a large oven. Additionally, be mindful of water usage by washing fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under running water, and fixing leaks promptly to conserve water.

5. Grow your own herbs & vegetables

If you have space, consider starting a small herb garden or growing your own fruits and vegetables. Not only does this provide you with fresh, organic produce, but it also reduces the need for transportation and packaging associated with store-bought goods.

6. Support eco-friendly brands

Choose to support brands that prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in their production processes. Look for certifications such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, or Rainforest Alliance to ensure that your purchases align with your values.

7. Practice mindful eating & grocery shopping

Be mindful of portion sizes and only cook what you need to avoid excess food waste. Consider serving meals family-style so everyone can take the amount they will eat, reducing leftovers that may go uneaten. The same applies to grocery shopping, don’t overbuy food that will eventually end up in the trash.

8. Reduce single-use packaging

Choose products with minimal packaging or opt for bulk options when available. Bring your own reusable bags and containers when shopping to reduce the need for single-use plastics.

Paso a paso

It only takes one initial step to create a habit – we challenge you to try one of these tips today. By infusing our culinary traditions with sustainability, we not only honor the wisdom of our ancestors but also pave the way for a brighter, more eco-conscious future. Together, let’s continue to cook with care, respect, and a deep appreciation for the planet we call home. Happy Earth Month, and here’s to sustainable cooking all year round!

Sign up to our newsletter to discover more remarkable culinary business owners, Latin restaurant news, and trends en la industria culinaria.

No Comments

Post A Comment