From Publishers Weekly
The foods we eat and the ways we buy, store and prepare them are significant contributors to global warming. This information-packed volume, from cookbook author and newgreenbasics.com founder Heyhoe, provides detailed guidance for those looking to make their cooking and eating habits earth-friendlier. Heyhoe has thought long and hard about this topic—she cites myriad inspirations (from environmentalists to food scientists like Harold McGee and The New Basics Cookbook
) and compelling statistics (less than 7 percent of the energy consumed by a gas oven goes to the food) that led her to develop the concept of a cookprint (the foodie version of an environmental footprint) and this guide to shrinking it. The book covers everything from appliances and cookware to shopping, ingredients (including details on the impact of meat and seafood on the planet), cooking techniques and cutting down on waste, and answers the questions that many aspiring eco-friendly types have probably wondered about—like which kind of grill is the greenest. At the end there's also a no-frills recipe section with dishes such as ginger chicken and broth, passively poached, short-cut lasagna and true skillet cornbread—all featuring a Green Meter—that put into practice what Heyhoe preaches. (Apr.)
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What does it truly take to cook green? It is more than buying locally grown foodstuffs, explains Heyhoe, though obviously “locavores” do have a head start on dining sustainably. Cooking green is far more comprehensive than monitoring appliance use; tracking energy output, for sure, is yet another element of eco-friendliness. Add cookware to the mix of determinants, along with type of technique, the table decorations, even the choice of energy-efficient ingredients (like no-cook pasta sauces). Ever-present sidebars are informative, with data that can potentially impact our ecological decisions: using freezer packs saves energy, vacuuming refrigerator coils often decreases electricity use, and trading white linens for bare tabletops in a four-restaurant chain amounted to a $100,000 annual savings. Fifty recipes, from meatless moussaka to true skillet cornbread, wrap up her go-green dictate, all belying the myth that good for you isn’t great for the taste buds. This is a very careful, well-explained examination of the “cookprint” we decide to leave; after all, 12 percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions are directly tracked to the ways we grow, prepare, and ship foods. --Barbara Jacobs