What if there were one simple daily action you could take to be green AND improve your health?
There is: cooking!
Cooking can be basic or extravagant, simple or fabulously complicated, functional (you need to eat), comforting (mmmm, homemade soup), creative (decorating cupcakes), and therapeutic (kneading bread). As great-grandma would tell you, until recently, preparing food wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity. Today we have the privilege of being able to purchase every single meal we eat… but we lose the connection with where our food comes from, how it gets to us, and what exactly it is that we’re eating.
Choosing to cook for yourself, your family and friends is a simple action you can take every day to take control of your health and your impact on the environment.
Cooking your food is better for the environment because you are using whole, fresh foods.
- Fresh foods have less (or zero) packaging (have you seen the layers of packaging in a ready meal?!)
- Fresh foods don’t take energy to manufacture/package like pre-made foods
- Buying in bulk can reduce packaging, transport costs (and save you money) even further
- You can choose the source of your food, whether it’s organic vegetables, free-range eggs or sustainable fish.
By cooking your own food, you know exactly what you’re eating. My personal (completely unscientific) theory is that cooking is good for your health because:
- You’re eating fewer chemicals, preservatives and other nasties (ie, all of those ingredients you can’t pronounce)
- You’ll reduce your sodium intake (the sodium in packaged/prepared foods is unbelievable)
- You’ll be eating Real Whole Foods that your body knows how to digest and assimilate (this is just a personal belief, that our bodies don’t know what to do with all of those invented food ingredients, and we’re better off eating natural foods)
- You’ll ultimately eat a healthier, balanced diet with less fat and sugar (my opinion: you can cook a ‘treat’ food like cake or fish&chips occasionally, but it’s too much effort to do every night)
- Cook something. Today.
- Kait over at Pots & Plots has launched a Retake Homemade movement to show that cooking doesn’t have to be hard. Feel free to check it out and join in the twitter hash tag of #retakehomemade with your quick, homemade recipes.
- And if you haven’t yet read The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, consider adding it to your summer reading list.
Do you cook? Share your tips in the comments for how you manage cooking with the rest of your busy schedule. Don’t cook yet, but want to learn? Let us know that too!