April 22, 2010 is Earth Day. The holiday, which began 40 years ago in the United States, is now observed by an estimated 200 million worldwide. Here are 5 simple, tasty ways to honor the planet.
For the past few years, the media has been touting the benefits of eating locally-grown or organic food. From television to newspapers, websites to magazines we learn that locally- and organically-grown food has better protein ratios and more vitamin C. Meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals have been shown to be lower in saturated fats and harmful cholesterol. And food grown organically or purchased from a local farmer has a smaller impact on the overall environment.
And while all this makes sense, it’s hard (and expensive) to eat only organic food. Not all fruits and vegetables can be purchased from your local farmer.
Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference
So what can you do on an on-going basis to make a difference? Start small. Here are 5 suggestion:
- Try to eat fresh, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. The website www.localharvest.org lists what’s currently available in your locale.
- Purchase organic beef and organic chicken when possible. Kosher.com has a wide variety.
- Buy organic dairy products. If you can only manage one organic item in your shopping cart, dairy is the way to go.
- Plant a garden. If you live in a small space, use windowsill planters to grow herbs and plant tomatoes in a pot on your back porch.
- Regularly visit Kosher.com to check out their selection of organic and all-natural products: from Yummy Earth Organic Candies to Alexia Frozen French Fries and from Tea Forte Green Tea to Eden Organic Products, Organic Greens and Organic Baby Food.
Lifestyle changes are never easy but they can be beneficial. In the meantime, we can take some Earth Day advice from Robert Rabinowitz of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life: Earth Day ‘is a time to appreciate the many gifts we receive from the Earth, from clean air and water to the many plants, animals and other organisms that fill our world. To celebrate it, take some time to consider the wondrous abundance of the good Earth that we have been given. Buy a nature book, watch a wildlife documentary with your children, or best of all, spend some time in the outdoors.”
Happy Earth Day!
Heather’s Black Bean Casserole (serves 2 hungry people)
- 2 tablespoons (organic) olive oil
- 2 cloves (locally-grown or organic) garlic, finely minced
- 2 (locally-grown or organic) tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 (locally-grown or organic) onion, finely chopped
- 1 (locally-grown or organic) red pepper, chopped
- 1 can Eden Organic Canned Beans; do not drain liquid
- Pinch each of dried basil, oregano and sugar
- 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown (approximately 2 minutes).
Add the tomatoes and sauté until soft (approximately 5 minutes).
Add the Eden Organic Canned Beans. Flavor with herbs.
Cover and simmer for approximately 30 minutes on low heat; stirring frequently to prevent burning.
Serve over rice