Monday, January 14, 2019

Does Your Box of “Ugly” Produce Really Help the Planet? Or Hurt it?

Fascinating New Republic piece by Emily Atkin about the rise of food boxes that purport to reduce food waste. Readers of my book will realize that food waste is a huge issue and we should work to reduce it however possible, but are 'Hungry Harvest' type services the best way to do so?

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Should we have a carbon tax for airline flights?

I think so, and I wrote about why in this LA Times OpEd piece. I was stimulated to write this because of the recent UN IPCC report and then the US Government report discussing our need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas production to avoid massive environmental (and human) damage. I recognize that carbon taxes are controversial but in a pollyanish way I believe that they might be the magic bullet (or a kick in the butt) that will lead to us bringing carbon capture and alternative fuel production technologies to scale--which will benefit us all. At this point, I believe that technological innovations will have to be part of the solution.

Regardless of your position, it's surely worthy of a discussion over dinner...and certainly in the context of how we can rapidly reduce greenhouse gas production.

Read more at the LA Times.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Mixing mushrooms into hamburgers...

An article in Nature talks about how by mixing in mushrooms with hamburgers we can reduce the carbon footprint of hamburgers. Sonic drive through is doing it. So are Harvard and USC. Food for thought. Read more here.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Electric Pressure Cooker cooking...

Happy New Year!

In a year where some might say that the sacred has become profane, but everyone would clearly agree that 'we live in interesting times, I hope that the next year is less of a roller coaster ride (yea, right...). Lotsa stuff to talk about at dinner parties...and lotsa reasons to break the bread with folks that might not have the same feelings about things that you do...

I've used a pressure cooker for the past 30 years. It all started when I had to carry my fuel up to Dhee Sar, the uninhabited  very high alpine meadow where I studied marmots for my dissertation research in Pakistan in the late '80s and early '90s. However, learning to cook non-professional Pakistani cuisine (think the unit of measurement for spice is cups rather than tablespoons!) was always delicious but often resulted in rice burned in the bottom of the pot (OK, I never read a recipe so cut me some slack...). Thus, it is with GREAT pleasure that I can announce that I've just gotten an electric pressure cooker (I'm not getting paid for this, but it's an Instant Pot). Pretty cool.

Electric pressure cookers are incredibly efficient...they not only save oven/stove time, but they also save water--realize that you only have one pot to clean!  I'm experimenting with a variety of recipes now. The first thing I made was modified from a quiche recipe (I played around with this great veggie quiche recipe). Delicious! In less than an hour and without having to fire up the oven or add fat to the kitchen top,I pressure steamed a delicious family brunch.

There are tonnes of bean recipes to explore and I'm really excited to play around with some 5-minute rice and fish recipes -- I'm going to use tilapia (some of them start with frozen fish--go figure!--no excuse to not cook a fresh meal anymore...).

The great thing about the electric pressure cooker is that it's all science because it regulates the temperature and pressure in ways you can't as easily do with a pressure cooker on a stove or, as I cut my teeth on, on a kerosene burner or a yak-dung fire.

Stay tuned...but I'm playing around with a number of interesting sites with recipes that include: Amy & Jackyforkly, Health Starts in the Kitchen, and more...they're easy to find...just google around.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Environmental impact of dogs and cats...

"US cats and dogs cause 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in this country. The nation's 163 million cats and dogs eat as much food as all the people in France. People should keep their pets -- and keep feeding them meat -- but there may be steps pet owners can take to reduce their environmental impact, says a researcher." 


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New OpEd on surviving in a post-truth world

I just had an OpEd published on Project Syndicate on Surviving in a Post-Truth World.  The main point worth discussing over dinner and drinks is what is truth and how would we identify it. If we agree that there are better and worse ways to seek it, shouldn't we lobby our politicians to follow those paths?