Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Whether you are planning a meat-free Thanksgiving or just want to supplement your meal with healthy and vegetarian-friendly side dishes, this New York Times feature (recipes included) should help you plan your menu.

While cooking without butter, cheese, eggs or milk may sound like an impossible feat at Thanksgiving time, some cooks may enjoy the challenge. Jason Wyrick, a Phoenix chef who specializes in vegan cooking, offers two delicious recipes — a mushroom roulade and a gnocchi with pumpkin sauce — that are likely to tempt everyone at your holiday table, whether they are meat eaters, vegetarians or vegans.

Mr. Wyrick, 36, who learned at age 28 that he had Type 2 diabetes, says he was able to reverse his diabetes by following a low-fat, vegan diet. He publishes the online magazine Vegan Culinary Experience. He notes that the mushroom roulade recipe requires several steps and can be time consuming, so he prepares the marinade for the mushrooms early in the day.

“It is well worth the wait, especially when I have guests,” he said. “The nothing-else-exists looks of culinary ecstasy on their faces reminds me why I became a chef.”

How Green Was My Turkey?

Slate's Green Lantern column tackles the question of what makes a bird eco-friendly. The discussion is pretty involved, and includes questions of local vs. organic. Here's an excerpt:

Organic turkeys, which haven't been given antibiotics, are a popular choice among green-minded consumers such as yourself (though apparently more due to the potential health implications than anything else). There is certainly a growing body of evidence that organic farming techniques may increase agricultural yields over the long haul, by maintaining soil and water quality. However, these findings apply primarily to crops, rather than animals. And you'll have to pay a significant premium to go organic: When shopping for his bird this past weekend, the Lantern was disappointed to find organic turkeys going for at least a dollar more per pound than their Grade A counterparts. (Slate's own Sara Dickerman discovered a few years back that the extra cost doesn't necessarily translate into a tastier turkey.)

If cash-flow problems put organic turkeys just outside your reach this November, you can still green your festivities by breaking slightly with tradition: Instead of serving turkey, serve a couple of nice chickens. According to a landmark Cornell University study from 10 years ago, it take 13 units of fossil fuel to produce a single unit of turkey protein; for broiler chickens, on the other hand, the ratio is a mere 4:1.

Whatever you end up eating, have a great holiday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Greening the Holidays--Regifting?

Jodi Newbern, the author of Regifting Revival: A Guide to Reusing Gifts Graciously, claims that re-gifting doesn't have to be tacky:

Regifting not only helps preserve your wallet and the environment, but – if you do it right – your friendships. Here are eight last-minute gift ideas you can find around the house that your friends won't find tacky.

Read more about re-gifting and get re-gifting suggestions in this Daily Green article.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Environment a Focus of Parliament of World's Religions

The Parliament of the World's Religions will include several environmental themes in their meeting in Melbourne, Australia, December 3-9, 2009. The complete list of subthemes for the meeting include:
Healing the Earth with Care and Concern
Indigenous Peoples
Overcoming Poverty in an Unequal World
Securing Food and Water for All People
Building Peace in the Pursuit of Justice
Creating Social Cohesion in Village and City
Sharing Wisdom in the Search for Inner Peace

Begun in 1893 and designed to promote peacemaking and Interreligious understanding, the Parliament will next meet in 2014 and is currently looking for a meeting site. Learn more at their website.

Eco-Justice Blog is back in business!

I began this blog in 2006 while I was working for IREJN, the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network. I left that job in 2008 and ceased blogging, but have continued to receive comments on the blog since that time, so I have decided to resume this blog as an independent environmental blog.