Come Together in the Kitchen
At Farm and Main from January/February 2011 Urban Farm
Lisa Munniksma, Urban Farm Editor
Photo by Stephanie Staton
That’s me in the picture, unplugging the toaster in the break room at work. I do this every day, at least once a day, under a veil of secrecy. Some offices have people who send emails admonishing others for leaving the lunch room looking like a frat house. (I wouldn’t mind if we had one of those email writers, too, actually.) Others have people who attach nasty notes to their calorie-free sodas, threatening harm to anyone who dare pilfer. In the Urban Farm building, which we share with other publications, it’s just me, trying to save 1 watt of electricity every day. I take on my task seriously but quietly.
I’m coming out in the open with this now because, darn it, this is important! Imagine if every person reading this issue went to his or her office break room (never mind his own home) and unplugged the toaster, toaster oven, can opener, electric kettle and microwave when it wasn’t being used. Together, we could significantly decrease the amount of wasted phantom energy.
What prompted me to boldly exclaim my very small energy-saving mission is the “Cool It, Cook It, Clean It, Save It” article on page 80 about sustainable kitchens. Food writer and UrbanFarmOnline.com “The Hungry Locavore” blogger Judith Hausman explains how the kitchen is one room in the house where we have a major opportunity to make a dent in our impact on this planet. We can start by unplugging what’s not in use.
I’m not a terribly domestic person, though since starting my serious introspection of sustainability a few years ago, I’ve probably doubled my time in the kitchen. In spring 2010, the UrbanFarmOnline.com associate web editor, Rachael Brugger, and I signed up for a community-supported agriculture share. Each Tuesday morning revealed a box full of freshly picked wonders. It was like unwrapping a birthday gift every week for 20 weeks in a row. Between the CSA bounty and my small container garden, I improved my skills of sautéing, baking, mashing, chopping, eating raw and freezing everything from kohlrabi to zucchini and sweet potatoes to Swiss chard—which is also why I’m excited about the article “Over the Rainbow” about growing Swiss chard.
Being winter, I don’t think I’d feel this issue was complete without a feel-good baking article. I don’t know about you, but I heart bread. It doesn’t matter to me what kind—crusty, soft, sweet, savory, slathered with butter or sandwiched with layers of grilled veggies and cheese in between. Bread is my friend, and chef and author Deborah Madison’s recipes in “Rolling in the Dough” promise to keep me dreaming about these loaves for days after I’ve polished off the last crumbs. As Rhoda Peacher, this article’s photographer, told me, “I got hungry just reading these.” Indeed.
What sustainable changes have you made in your kitchen? We’d like to know. Perhaps there’s something you’ve done that others can learn from, too. Email me your thoughts.
P.S. You’ve been asking for subscriptions all along, and now’s your chance to get one! Order them online or call 866-201-3870 for the details.
Submit Comment »
Give us your opinion on Come Together in the Kitchen.