- Cooking with fresh herbs is fun; it feels very “chef-y” to do things like chiffonade.
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One of the biggest things you can do to support and encourage responsibly raised food is to vote with your wallet. You may be patronizing CSAs and farmers’ markets for local produce, buying organic brands from your supermarket, and studying nutrition labels for evils like high fructose corn syrup and artificial preservatives. But if you’re eating in restaurants blissfully ignorant of where the food on your plate comes from, then you might be undermining your efforts.
Choose the food you eat in restaurants just as wisely as what you choose to eat at home, and your choices will be more likely to influence the foodservice community to change their ways and offer more environmentally friendly choices on their menus. Plus, with restaurants, being green goes beyond the food they serve — restaurants can, and should, be conservative with energy usage, use eco-responsible construction methods, and treat their staff fairly.
Do a little research on the restaurants in your area, or before you travel to other cities, to find businesses that care about the environment. These tips will help you make the best choices:
A few months ago I wrote a blog post about how the more I learned about industrial agriculture and food processing, the more I felt like Neo in the movie The Matrix. Once Neo is exposed to the reality of his world (that humans are actually raised purely to create energy for machines, and a virtual reality has been created to placate the people in their “pods” so they never become aware of their predicament), he can’t go back to his previous existence — even though he probably really wants to.
I love harvest time. What more savory feast for the senses is there than a Saturday morning stroll through the local farmers market in September? Here in Boulder, Colo., I love gathering a basketful of Palisade peaches, pungent peppers, fresh-picked organic salad greens, and a big, sweet Rocky Ford cantaloupe (the melon equivalent of a vine-ripe heirloom tomato versus a pale January supermarket variety). And soon, I’ll add a jug of cloudy, fresh-pressed apple cider.