A DO-IT-YOURSELF GUIDE ON HOW TO MAKE AN EVERYDAY MEAL MORE SUSTAINABLE Sustainable Cooking... with Adam Yen and Matt Bui
The Conventional Meal For our guide on how to make a sustainable meal, we decided to plan out and simulate the cooking of a meal based off of one we eat commonly at our own dinner tables. This meal, chicken fettucine alfredo, is an Italian meal that we both have eaten and know as something utterly delicious. Often, when we both have eaten such a pasta, it has been accompanied with some sort of bread, such as a dinner roll, garlic bread, or even lazy bruschetta. And here are our changes—in an attempt to make this typical meal more sustainable.
A More Sustainable Pasta <ul><li>PASTA: </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of using fettuccine, we decided to opt for a more fun shape and type of pasta (fusilli). </li></ul><ul><li>The fusilli we chose to use in our new meal, in order to be more sustainable, was organic. It was not locally produced, though, because it was imported from Italy so it was not as sustainable as it could be. </li></ul><ul><li>A notable ingredient in the pasta is 500 mg of Omega-3 oils contained in the pasta; they add a healthfulness and unique taste to the pasta while also promoting heart-health and preventing or treating many other ailments. </li></ul>
A More Sustainable Chicken and Pasta Sauce <ul><li>CHICKEN: </li></ul><ul><li>Instead of using chicken from a conventional supermarket, we decided to buy some organic free range chicken from Trader Joe’s. </li></ul><ul><li>To offset the costs of this more expensive chicken, we decided to serve our guests with less meat but fill them up with other foods. </li></ul><ul><li>PASTA SAUCE </li></ul><ul><li>-A more sustainable pasta sauce than alfredo sauce would be the organic vodka sauce offered at Trader Joe’s. </li></ul><ul><li>The sauce requires less cream and thus less milk to produce it since it consists more so of tomatoes than alfredo sauce. To be even more sustainable, the sauce is made with only organic ingredients. </li></ul>
A More Sustainable Side Dish SIDE DISH: - In an effort to make a more sustainable side dish, we decided to go with organic French baguettes from Trader Joe’s instead of dinner rolls from a conventional supermarket. We talked to an employee who said that the bread is only made with organic materials and thus serves as a more sustainable option than the dinner rolls. To add some flavor, we suggest dipping this aforementioned bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. To be more sustainable with these options, we recommend the organic forms of these foods. Furthermore, we suggest the Whole Foods’ “Whole Trade” version of olive oil, which is their equivalent of a Fair Trade product and ensures fair labor practices.
Food for Thought DRINKS: - As an interesting sustainable option for a beverage, we recommend the organic mango tea from Whole Foods, particularly the product offered by Santa Cruz Organic. This product that they sell is Fair Trade and organic, and 100% of the energy used in the production of the tea is offset by renewable energy certificates. DESSERT: - As an option for dessert, we recommend organic strawberries. We purchased our strawberries from a farmer’s market. The farmer was based in the San Fernando Valley and said that all of his foods were produced organically.
Sustainability Assessment <ul><li>ECOLOGICAL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Almost all of the food ingredients are either organic or fair trade, or both. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Many of the items, like the chicken, bread, tea, and strawberries, are produced locally. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- However, the pasta was imported from Italy, giving it quite a large carbon footprint due to transportation. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>COMMUNITY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- The use of local products emphasizes the importance of buying local food and supporting small businesses. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>EDUCATION </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Supermarkets like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are committed to educating the general public about the benefits of local foods and sustainable agriculture. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Many places are now purchasing energy certificates to offset their energy uses. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>FINANCIAL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Organic and local foods are slightly more expensive than conventional foods. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- The quality of local, organic foods is much higher, and they usually taste much better as well. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Sometimes, however, the price difference is negligible, and every once in a while, organic foods can be found to be less expensive than their conventional counterparts. </li></ul></ul>