Upgrades and quick fixes in your kitchen, coupled with changes in your culinary methods, can cut down your carbon footprint on the planet. Move towards a ‘greener’ planet, as you adopt these tips from the city chefs that guide to through your journey toward being an environment conscious connoisseur.
1 Grow a herb garden: You many not have green fingers but with a little expert help, you can have your own kitchen garden. Even in less space, such as a corner in your backyard or the kitchen windowsill, you can grow herbs and vegetables. “Nothing can compare the freshness of home grown herbs. And you don’t have to worry about pesticides,” says chef T. P. Shibu, of Food Mill.
2 Cover up your pans: You have probably heard this tenet a million times and never followed it, but by covering up your pans while cooking, you heavily cut down on your cooking time and bring down your energy bill by almost 75 %.
3 Make your own purees and sauces: Bottled products often have synthetic colours and preservatives. Homemade purees will give your dishes a fresh flavour, and would save you from the guilt of junking tones of empty bottle and jars.
4 Switch over to organic food: One can easily find organically grown herbs, vegetables, fruits, pulses and grains these days in gourmet stores and high-end marts. “Organic means something that has been grown without the use of fertilisers, chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones. You can switch over to not only fresh fruits, herbs and veggies but dried organic daal, cheese and even oil,” says chef Sabyasachi Gorai.
5 Forgo plastic bags and bottles: Carry a stylish shopping bag along when you go shopping. It adds to your style statement and refrains you from using plastic bags. Also, invest in a water purifier. Every time you go out, fill up a bottle to carry with you.
6 Cook and store: You can cook soups, daal, curries and rice, freeze them and simply reheat whenever required. Reheating involves much less energy than cooking food. Also, when your food is cooked, turn off the gas and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the food to get cooked in the residual heat.
7 Eat raw: A fresh salad made of organic vegetables tossed in extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest meals you can have. Similarly, for desserts, opt for a bowl of freshly cut fruits rather than cream based desserts. Organic juice is also a good substitute for coffee and tea.
8 Invest in energy efficient appliances: Brands such as Miele have come up with 95% recyclable refrigerators and dishwashers that are highly energy efficient. “A fully loaded utensil washer uses just 10 litre of water whereas a 600-700 litre refrigerator consumes just half a unit electricity a day,” shares Dhanajay Chaturvedi, MD, Miele, India.