Archive for the ‘green moms carnival’ Category

Going Green Begins at the Kitchen Table

Monday, January 12th, 2009

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:

  1. unsustainable fish
  2. pesticides and dirty produce
  3. synthetic fertilizer and industrial farming
  4. doped up dairy (rBST)
  5. feedlot meat (beef and pork)
  6. irradiated mutant food (GMOs)
  7. refined sugars, including high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  8. caged birds (poultry)
  9. exploitative imports
  10. plastics and bisphenol-A (BPA)
  11. volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in cleaning products
  12. 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!

Sharing this via the January Green Moms Carnival on global warming, hosted this month by The Not Quite Crunchy Parent.

Enjoy this post? Please post on Twitter, Stumble It or Join the Facebook Blog Network!

Countdown to Thanksgiving

Monday, October 27th, 2008

I have been feeling a little Scrooge-like thinking of Thanksgiving this year (mixed holiday metaphors, I know) as it will be the third year in a row that I won’t be cooking my favorite holiday meal. The first year, when my son was just three months old, I caved and agreed to go out for dinner. Last year, my brother got married Thanksgiving weekend, and we spent Thanksgiving flying cross-country. (My sister-in-law’s family cooked a Thanksgiving feast for the rehearsal dinner the next day, though, so it’s not like we didn’t get turkey at all.) And this year, we’re taking the toddler to meet his only cousin on my husband’s side of the family. For someone who really loves to cook, it’s hard to let go of (control over) the food even though it means more time with family.

As I brace myself for November’s arrival, I am reminding myself to be grateful that we can celebrate the harvest feast in our own way throughout the month. My three favorite green “things,” in the context of Thanksgiving, are the wonderful farmers and producers who provide the real food that graces our table. We bought gorgeous pumpkins this weekend from our CSA farm, including some that are soon to be baked and will be transformed into pumpkin cookies, bread and cheesecake bars over the next few weeks. I am grateful that our Del Ray Farmers Market continues through the month, providing us easy access to apples, cider, mushrooms, greens and Tom our Cheese Guy’s fresh yogurt, cheese and Amish treats. And I’m thankful that we can squeeze a local, all-natural, free-range turkey from Smith Meadows into our freezer to cook once we return from our travels — when we’ll truly be thankful to be enjoying a home-cooked dinner.

This is my first submission to the Green Moms Carnival, hosted by Best of Mother Earth. This month’s theme is gratitude; be sure to visit her blog next Monday for the round-up.