Take Food Waste Off the Thanksgiving Menu

farmers market haul

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday in the US, “six million turkeys—a value of roughly $293 million—ended up in the trash.” Producing that much discarded turkey “requires an estimated more than 100 billion gallons of water (enough to supply New York City for 100 days). And when it […]

Convenience vs Community

I am doomed. I started making homemade pasta regularly and I can no longer stomach store-bought. It simply can’t complete with the hearty, toothy, delicious and filling homemade version. Okay, so eating more delicious food isn’t a fate worse than McDonald’s but I have now created more work for myself. Because in addition to store-bought […]

21 Energy-Reducing Tips for the Kitchen

Dutch oven with minestrone soup

Updated 09/26/17 Here in the U.S., food-related energy accounts for about 16 percent all the energy we consume nationally. That energy includes all the steps in the food supply chain—growing and processing the food, packaging it, shipping it, storing it, preparing it and handling all that food we waste.  This post focuses on reducing food-related […]

Solar-Dried Tomatoes

tomatoes in solar dehydrator

I made literal sun-dried tomatoes. And I mean literal in the formerly correct sense of the word… I used a solar dehydrator for these. I haven’t tried dehydrating tomatoes in my oven. I feel I should use the solar dehydrator since I have access to one but tomatoes should turn out well in the oven. […]

Homemade Tahini

We eat lots of hummus and so go through quite a bit of tahini. I’m pretty sure when people set out to reduce their waste, their hummus intake becomes inversely proportional. There’s likely a mathematical theory that proves this. This past weekend, I cooked two cups of chickpeas in my pressure cooker for hummus but […]

Drawdown: A Book that Just Might Save the Planet

The bad news on the environment is as unrelenting as a California wildfire. We’re well over 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (scientists consider 350 ppm safe). A 2012 report from the World Bank describes the world as “barreling down a path to heat up by 4 degrees at the end […]

Don’t Be Perfect

I really struggled with this blog post because…I wanted it to be perfect. The irony! As one of my creative writing teachers told us, just write “s&!%, s&!%, s&!%” over and over and over if that’s what you must do to get words onto the page (or screen). Like perfection, the zero in zero waste […]

21 Consumer Products You Can (Likely) Live Without

I haven’t written a rant for some time… I was slow to see the hit show Mad Men. I found it difficult to watch a bunch of white, sexist, racist, entitled, whiskey-swilling, chain-smoking, philandering men develop ad campaigns to sell Americans things they didn’t need. But then again, I think that was the point—to shine […]

Off-the-Grid Kombucha

Hibiscus flavored kombucha

Because you want to take your hippie game to the next level… The word “ferment” comes from the Latin verb “fervere,” to boil One of the benefits of making fermented foods is that you can prepare many of them without consuming energy. So, after the apocalypse, I’ll still be able to eat my mouth-watering fermented salsa, […]

Vegetarian Chili

I have tried to make good vegetarian chili many times over the years—and have consistently failed. Instead of hearty and filling, it had always turned out thin, soupy and unsatisfying. We eat lots of soup and I love it—when I intend to make soup. But I don’t like chili soup. So I consulted the expert cook […]