Going Green Begins at the Kitchen Table
Introducing the Foodie Tots’ Sustainable Family Supper Project
I started this blog to document our family’s efforts to eat healthier and more sustainably, and that has trickled over to other green choices around the home. I have occasionally been asked how to weed through all the alarming news and studies and figure out where to start “going green” at home. Naturally, I am a proponent of starting in the kitchen. The foods we eat have an impact on our health and on the health of our environment. Here in the Chesapeake Bay region, choosing oysters over endangered blue crabs supports restoration efforts in the Bay, as shellfish naturally filter nutrients out of the water. Choosing local, organically-farmed produce means less pesticide run-off into the Bay’s tributaries.
It may be selfish, but I am more concerned about reducing the toxin load on my two-year-old son’s developing brain and growing body than I am with the polar ice caps, at least on a day to day basis. But as we make small changes in our cooking and buying habits, we find being green(er) starts to become second nature, and the next steps come more easily. And at the end of the day, if we’ve reduced our consumption of fossil fuels and helped slow climate change, well who can argue with that?
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing a “Twelve Steps to a Sustainable Kitchen” plan, highlighting some of the toxins we try to avoid and offering suggestions for steps to implement in your home. Please read along, ask questions and join the discussion!
You’ve probably heard of the “Dirty Dozen” list of pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables. Here are the “Dirty Dozen” food and home contaminants the Foodie Tots family tries to avoid:
- unsustainable fish
- pesticides and dirty produce
- synthetic fertilizer and industrial farming
- doped up dairy (rBST)
- feedlot meat (beef and pork)
- irradiated mutant food (GMOs)
- refined sugars, including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
- caged birds (poultry)
- exploitative imports
- plastics and bisphenol-A (BPA)
- volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cleaning products
- heavy metals and petroleum by-products
For each installment, we’ll suggest alternatives to these kitchen toxins and offer a complete “Sustainable Family Supper” menu incorporating that week’s theme. I hope you’ll follow along and share your recipes and tips, too!