By: Kade Agan
Hey Seattle (and beyond), didn't you just love this crazy hot weather?
Maybe the high temps aren't your thing. But this couldn't be a more perfect opportunity to think about green cooking. Of course you've already arrived at the the conclusion that roasting a turkey in the oven for four hours isn't just impractical in 95 degree heat, it's downright crazy. By not using the oven as much you're already likely using less fuel to prepare your food, but have you ever really thought about the energy used during the entire cooking process, regardless of the season?
You've heard of carbon footprints and water footprints, and now I give you the cookprint. To be honest I hadn't heard of the cookprint until recently when I heard Kate Heyhoe discussing her book Cooking Green: Reducing your Carbon Footprint in the Kitchen, and then it all made sense in a “why haven't I ever considered this?” kind of way. A cookprint basically measures the total amount of energy used in a meal from beginning (think source and preparation) to end (dishwashing and compost) and everything in between, like how much energy your appliances use.
Heyhoe makes the argument, for example, that a stove has enough residual heat that you don't really need to keep it turned on for the entire time you're supposed to be baking something. Makes sense, doesn't it? It's not as if turning off a 325-degree oven makes the temperature inside automatically drop to zero. Taking things a step further, this post from Planet Green examines which appliances are worth keeping in terms of energy usage and which you might want to use sparingly or reconsider buying if you're in the market for kitchen gadgets.
A lot us pride ourselves on expanding our culinary horizons, but here's a chance to expand our green awareness of what goes into making the food we love to eat as well. Happy cooking!