Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Now more sustainable

Well. It has been a while. Sorry about that folks. Really and truly. Life has been a bit crazy of late, but things seems to be leveling out now, so hopefully that will put things back on track. 

One of the reasons was TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival), and while I was there, keeping my eyes peeled for possible celebrity sightings, I saw a documentary called Revolution. Anyone who saw Sharkwater, the documentary about shark-fin soup that lead to a ban on the soup in a number of countries around the world, might remember Rob Stewart, environmental activist and film-maker. He's passionate, and dedicated, and his work on Sharkwater lead him to realize that this goes far beyond the sharks. Revolution focuses on the oceans specifically, but examines the larger impact their decline will have on the world we live in.

I'm not here to give it a review, though it is fantastic and I recommend everyone see it when it goes to wide release this coming March. Mostly I just wanted to tell you where my renewed environmentalism has come from. I'm greening everything. Slowly, since it's quite the process, but I'll get there.

Of course this is a food blog. So I'm going to focus on how I'm working to eat more sustainably. So far I've signed up with Fresh City Farms, which delivers fresh, locally sourced (no less than 80% is locally grown) produce right to your door. I'm also getting ethically and sustainably produced milk and eggs from them. More on that when I finish reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. I'll give you a full rundown. And I'm off all meat that isn't sustainably farmed. The wonderful Rowe Farms will be available for all my meaty needs, not that I really have many. 

I'm linking to all these because I really want everyone to check them out. Seriously. As Michael Pollen points out in his above-mentioned book, we talk about 'sustainable' and often forget the true meaning of 'unsustainable' as it describes our current food system, and that is, "Sooner or later it must collapse." (emphasis Pollen's)* 

Don't worry. This will continue to be a blog about awesome things that I eat and make. It will also occasionally have some advice for sustainable eating. I'm going to be receiving a bunch of produce that I don't normally eat, so I'm going to have to experiment with some recipes (what does one do with a beet, anyway? I'll find out). Those recipes will find their way here. 

On that note, I have two words for you: kale chips. Until last week I had never eaten kale. However, it's on the list of Produce I Will Be Receiving In Future and I had some in the fridge that my mom had given me. True to form I searched for a way to use it that required the least amount of effort. (I may be putting effort into sustainability, but I'm still lazy.) Turns out kale chips are exactly that.

Are you ready for it? Preheat oven to 325F. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces, keeping in mind that they will shrink up a bit in the oven. Also keep that in mind as you lay these bite-sized pieces on your baking tray. You can fit more on there than you think. Pack it full. Drizzle it with a couple tablespoons of olive oil (roughly, I didn't measure) and a bit of salt. You could throw some finely grated cheese on there too, or maybe some chili powder. Anything that you think might taste good. But salt is a good starter seasoning. Bake them for about 10 minutes, until the edges start to brown and they're crispy.

That's all folks. Then you eat them. Dear lord, never stop eating them. They are so good. I made a whole tray and intended to leave some for my sister to try. Next thing I knew, I'd eaten them all. Oops. I would have felt guilty for eating so many chips, but it's really just greens and olive oil. You know. A salad. That feels nothing like eating a salad. These are my new go-to snack. I'm pretty excited about it. I can hardly wait for the rest of my new produce. 

*Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore's Dilemma. New York: Penguin Group, 2006. 183.