Go Nuts!

Ever wondered how much protein was in different kinds of nuts? Here's an easy breakdown of protein by mass for different nuts and legumes both raw, and as nut butter!

Peanuts: 23.6%

Peanut Butter: 25.1%

Cashews: 21.0%

Cashew Buter: 17.6%

Almonds: 21.1%

Almond Butter: 21.0%

Walnuts: 30.1%

Walnut Butter: No one’s made it yet!

As an example, cashews are 21 percent protein by mass, so one pound of cashews would contain 95 grams of pure protein! (about 3.35 ounces)


Sustainable Food

The idea of sustainable food seems rudimentary. You grow plants, harvest, extract seeds, eat, reseed. However, this is not what Sustainable food means. The idea of sustainable foods refer to foods that are healthy for consumers and animals. Requirements of food that are categorized as sustainable are that they do not harm the environment, safe for laborers during all aspects of growth and harvest, farmers make a reasonable wage, and supports and enhances rural communities. The Term sustainable actually refers to food production being economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Choosing to support sustainable foods benefits your health and the community. By supporting sustainable food we are taking money away from companies that product and distribute food unethically. Click here to find out more about sustainable foods, where to buy them and how to determine if the food you are buying is actually sustainable. 

How Green is Your Kitchen?

Many of us recycle and make a habit of shopping for healthy and organic food choices. What else can you do to ensure your kitchen is as "eco-friendly" as it can be?

Make sure to shop locally whenever you can. Not only will you end up with fresh seasonal vegetables, but you will also reduce fuel consumption and shipping costs.

Buy your most-used ingredients in bulk. Consider packaging when you shop. 

Make or purchase cloth napkins, and use cloth napkins or washcloths/dishrags in place of paper towels whenever possible. 

Did you know your outdoor grill uses less energy than your stove? It’s also helpful in the summer to keep your house cooler. 
Look for the stickers on your produce when you shop at the grocery store. If you are looking for organic produce, keep your eye out for a #9 at the start of the code. 

Remember your reusable shopping bags. 

If your freezer is not full, fill it with milk jugs or water bottles, it will help it to run more efficiently. 

Recycle all that you can. 

Use a reusable water bottle so you can cut down on plastic water bottles. 

Have you considered how much wasted food leaves the house in your compost or garbage? Many of the food scraps we let go to waste can be used in cooking. One way to “recycle” your food scraps into something delicious and useful is to start saving them in a freezer bag or container in your freezer. Once you’ve collected enough, create a stock by simmering on the stovetop. The stock can be cooled and then stored frozen for the next time you need a broth or stock base.

Why Greek Yogurt?

Greek yogurt is enjoying a surge of popularity with American consumers. A trip to your local grocery store's dairy section will show you a large array of choices beyond the usual yogurt products. Have you tried greek yogurt yet? The taste and texture are very different from regular yogurt. Whether eaten by itself or used in a recipe, it has a definite edge over many other dairy products.

As compared to regular yogurt, it offers double the protein and half the sugar. Nutritionally speaking, the low-fat and non-fat versions are the best choice. Greek yogurt is strained, removing much of the liquid whey, lactose, and sugar. A six ounce serving can supply up to 20 grams of protein, which is equal to the protein in 2-3 ozs. of lean meat (in comparison, regular yogurt normally provides just 9 grams of protein per serving). This makes it an excellent source of protein for vegetarians. 

Greek yogurt has many other health benefits when compared to regular yogurt. With lower carbohydrates, it can be easier to digest. Most greek yogurts also have a lower sodium content than regular yogurt.


It's all in the Packaging

Eating Green is not only about eating organic and local foods.  It also has to do with what your food is packaged in.  Instead of buying foods that come wrapped in a lot of packaging, most of which is not eco-friendly, try buying minimally packaged or non-packaged foods. Better yet, buy food that has packaging that you can reuse or bring your own containers and buy in bulk. If you cannot get around the packaging, try buying foods packaged in biodegradable and recyclable materials.  These eco-friendly materials do not contain harmful chemicals or plastic coatings, and they do not require a lot of energy to produce. 
For more information of biodegradable packaging:

Crunching the Numbers

Do you know how far your food travels before it reaches your supermarket?  Or how much water was used to produce it?  Chances are most people have no idea what the numbers are behind food production.  The average US meal comes from 5 countries.  Even if you buy all of your food from the same supermarket, most likely they come from different countries.  From farm to market, food travels between 1500 and 2500 miles, this is a 25% increase from twenty years ago.  This long distance travel for our food increases the fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  An exorbitant amount of water is also used in the production of food, while the majority of agriculture is rain-fed, irrigated agriculture produces 40% of the worlds food and consumes 75% of the fresh water.  A few examples of the amounts of water used to produce agriculture:  1 Kg of beef uses 16,000-100,000 liters of water to produce, 140 liters to produce 1 cup of coffee, and 25 liters to produce 1 liter of beer.  These numbers are just a few facts on what goes into producing our food, and what it costs the environment.

For more information on the numbers behind food production:

Drink Smart!

Think your daily latte is only affecting your pocketbook?  Think again.  This daily habit has a large effect on the environment.  Much of the products associated with your daily latte, the cup, stirrer, lid, napkins, carriers, etc, are thrown into the trash contributing to the landfill.  The coffee beans used to brew your coffee travel thousands of miles to reach the US, using large amounts of fuel along the way. What about the land the coffee grows on?  Massive amounts of deforestation occur in order to have large enough farms to produce large amounts of coffee for consumption. While brewing your own coffee is more environmentally friendly, there are ways to cut back on the impact if you go to the local coffee shop.  First, bring your own mug.  This cuts down on most of the waste associated with buying coffee.  Secondly, try to find coffee shops that brew organic and fair trade coffee.  This will cut out harmful pesticides and chemicals, as well as ensure that they were grown environmentally as well as economically friendly.

Here are some more great tips:

Surprising ways to contribute to the Green Eating movement

Besides the main ideas of Green Eating, which include buying local, growing your own food, and eating organic, there are many other surprising ways to eat green.  What do using a knife, keeping the door closed, and filling up the freezer have in common?  All are great ways of lessening your environmental food impact.  Instead of using a food processor to chop your food, utilize your knife skills and chop your own food, not only does it reduce your electricity use but also it can help you become a better cook!  While it is very tempting to peek at your food by opening the oven door, this has a negative effect on the environment. Every time you open your oven door to check on food, your oven loses between 25 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.  Having a well-stocked freezer uses less energy than running an empty freezer.

More interesting ways to Eat Green:

Amazonian Deforestation on the Rise

The start of the year 2013 seems poised to be the first time in years in which Brazilian Amazonian rain forest deforestation has increased rather then decreased. This current year 2012 has seen a reduction of up to 23% in the amount of amazonian rain forest that has been deforested for agricultural and infrastructure development. However to blunt this optimistic news satellite images from August of 2012 display 522sqkm of land clear cut for agriculture which is an increase of 163.3sqkm compared to the same time last year. The reason for why this August 2012 increase will not affect the record 2012 deforestation reduction is due to the way in which deforestation totals are measured. Deforestation is recorded yearly from August to July. What this means is that the 2012 deforestation year ended in July 2012 thus negating the impact this August spike has caused. What are reasons for this spike? The Brazilian congress and president are making efforts at the behest of the Brazilian agricultural and forestry industry to relax the current standing forest-code. This willingness by the Brazilian government to reduce environmental protection for this diverse biosphere has environmentalists alarmed as they fear that farmers and ranchers will be able to, “act with impunity”. Incidents like these are just yet another reminder for the reader that what we eat on our plate here can have dramatic and lasting repercussions elsewhere.