How to cook environmental

February 6, 2008 at 9:40 am | Posted in gastronomy, running, Starbucks, wine | Comments Off on How to cook environmental

A quick note: this blog is keeping me honest.  I did, in fact, go home yesterday to a glass of wine and MSNBC.  However, even after a late night of election returns and California zinfandel, I also got up this morning at 6 a.m. to run (in the dark and the rain — much tougher).  (But I only ran 4.2 miles, not 5.  See?  Honesty.)

Anyway, I was very happy to see this morning that Mark Bittman has started a blog on the Times site.  I love How to Cook Everything and recently plunked his new book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian into my Amazon.com cart.  When I cut out recipes from the Wednesday Dining section, inevitably they are his.  Last week he wrote an article called “Rethinking the Meat Guzzler” about the ecological benefits of being vegetarian, to which I wholeheartedly ascribe.  An admission:  I am not, at heart, an environmentalist.  I have begun to think about the effects of my individual actions a bit more as of late:  I feel sort of guilty about all the disposable diapers, I stopped double-cupping my chais at Starbucks, and certainly I recycle glass and plastic (and convinced Henry to get a water purifier for their house instead of using dozens and dozens of 12 oz. Poland Springs bottles from Costco.)  However, I fully realize that I could do more.  (My visiting sister-in-law — a pretty ardent environmentalist, science teacher, oceanographer, and faculty sponsor of the “Earth Club” at her school — was aghast when we started to leave for Starbucks last Sunday without travel mugs!)  I have been a vegetarian on-and-off since my sophomore year of college, but came to it not because of a fervent love for all living things, but because (without going into detail) meat was and is hard for me to digest.  I just feel much better when I do not eat it. 

My most recent lapse out of vegetarianism was when I was pregnant — because of the gestational diabetes, I needed to eat almost solely protein.  I went back to vegetarianism about two months ago.  My brother-in-law, however, rather accurately pegged me as a “snobitarian” — I’m not super strict about it (especially if the meat is free-range and from Whole Foods; I’d never eat chicken from a restaurant, for example), nor am I adverse to a really, really nice steak.  But Bittman’s article, for the first time, made me committed for environmental reasons.  I may not use cloth (gross!) — or even Seventh Generation — diapers, but I do buy organic veggies, and from now on, I’ll try to reduce methane in the environment in my own small way.

Blogging keeps you honest.

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