4 Ways to be a More Earth Friendly Cook

Many of us know that choosing more local foods (like Dream Greens) is a powerful way to contribute to a healthier planet.  Local produce takes less time to get to our plates, leading to fewer harmful carbon emissions and less food waste along the supply chain.  In addition to going local, the way we prepare our meals can also make a big impact on the environment.  The next time you find yourself in your kitchen, try these 4 simple tips for being a more sustainable home cook.

Start with greens!

Instead of building your meal around the protein, build your dish around your produce.  Plant-based foods have a lower environmental footprint than animal-based foods so try to treat produce as the “main dish” and the protein as more of the “side” when planning your meal.  Starting with nutrient-dense veggies such as local Dream Greens is a win for both the planet and for our personal health.

Save your scraps

Up to 40% of food is wasted in the US, which leads to major green emmissions that wreak havoc on our planet.  Instead of throwing your fruit and vegetable scraps away, which tend to be nutrient-dense and full of flavor, think of creative ways to incorporate them into your recipes.  For example, save vegetable scraps of carrots, onions, celery to make homemade vegetable stock.  Instead of throwing the stems from leafy greens like kale, chard, broccoli stalks, cilantro, basil, and and blend into sauces and salad dressings.

Re-purpose leftovers

Tired of throwing away leftovers?  There are many ways to turn leftovers into tasty new dishes.  Transform vegetable sides from dinner into a creative omelet  for breakfast. Leftover proteins like steak and chicken? Shred them up and throw them into your salad the next day. The possibilities are endless!

Store Smart

A smart way to prevent food waste is to store ingredients strategically.  Try to organize your pantry and refrigerator by “Use by” date, keeping soon-to-expire products within closer reach.  Taking stock of your pantry also allows you take take inventory of what you have available so you avoid making repeat purchases.   Another great storage tactic is freezing.  If you have too much of a fresh ingredient, like fresh produce or protein, or if you’ve made too much of a recipe, instead of keeping it in the fridge, try to freeze it.  Frozen food can stay fresh for several months compared to a few days in a refrigerator.