Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tips and thoughts

I wouldn't say that I have a philosophy -- about anything, really. There are just some things that I think are a good idea. I think it's a good idea to be healthy, but I'm not a fanatic about it. I think it's a good idea to care for the planet, but I don't have the energy to obsess about it. I think it's a good idea to do more with less, but I don't save well and I accumulate stuff just like everybody else.

So I'm imperfect even about the things I care about, but there are some areas where compromise just doesn't make sense. Here, in a nutshell, is my non-philosophy for the kitchen.

  • Buy local produce if you can. There are good ecological reasons, of course. You're eliminating the massive carbon footprint of shipping your asparagus from Peru, which is hard to ignore at this point. You're also supporting people within your community. Just as importantly, local food is in season, so it tastes a lot better. Try farmer's markets or farmstands, or just keep an eye on the labels at the supermarket.
  • Green Bags are amazing. How many times has broccoli liquefied in your crisper drawer? I'm not getting a percentage or anything, but those "As Seen on TV" Green Bags really are terrific. Your produce will last so much longer.
  • Canned beans are your friend. Beans take forever to cook, but they're really good for you and very versatile. To save time, use the canned ones. Just be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of the excess salt.
  • Eat less meat. It's expensive, and most of us don't really move around enough to need all that fat and protein. And did you know that the earth could support something like twice as many people if we all ate only a little meat? I'm not saying I want 12 billion people around me, but I think it's important to take care of the ones we already have.
  • Variety is the spice of life. I don't know how people survive on rice and fish, or hamburgers and french fries, every single day. Try new things. You might not like all of it, but you're bound to like some of it.
  • It's okay to hate tomatoes. Or Brussels sprouts, or liverwurst, or tea, or whatever it is you don't like.
  • You can't overdo cinnamon and garlic. Okay, you probably can. But I love these two seasonings (not together), and I tend to use a heavy hand with them. Caveat eater.
  • Moderation is the key. Feasts are great, but not every day. Desserts are terrific, but not at every meal. Wine is lovely, but not to excess. Veganism/raw foodism/Atkinsism/whatever is fine, but don't become an evangelist for the cause. Nobody will thank you for ruining their meal with guilt. Not much is inherently bad for you -- just enjoy it all in moderation.

No comments:

Post a Comment