Analiese Paik, Founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide,
Presented Green Food Resolutions for the New Year
On News Ch. 8’s Good Morning CT
with Chris Velardi at 7:45 am on Sunday, January 10, 2010
Recycle your #5 containers. Most eco-conscious consumers have already sworn off bottled water, wouldn’t be caught shopping without a reusable bag, and are in the habit of recycling their metal, plastic and glass containers. But #5 containers, which are used to package foods like yogurt, hummus and cottage cheese, are not recycled by many municipalities. Whole Foods Markets collects #5 containers in their stores for recycling into new consumer products under their Gimme 5 program. So save your #5 containers and recycle them at the store instead of letting them end up in a landfill. If you don’t live near a Whole Foods Market, you can ship them directly to the recycling center.
Don’t buy more than you’re going to cook. Stop buying fruits and vegetables in bulk if you frequently find them in your refrigerator or on your counter going bad. We think we’re doing right by our family by saving money from buying in quantity, but throwing out food is just wasteful. To avoid spoiled leftovers, portion and freeze food that will not be eaten in the next few days.
Make your own vegetable stock with vegetable trimmings. Save vegetable ends, peelings and trimmings to make homemade vegetable stock. Simply add raw vegetable trimmings to a container as your create them, and keep it refrigerated or frozen until you’ve accumulated enough to make a vegetable stock of your own. Vegetable stock is easily prepared in 45 minutes, is more delicious than store bought, and provides you with a great start to a soup, sauce, gravy, braise, rice pilaf or risotto. Celery (stem and leaf), carrots, onions (peel too), leeks, parsley stems, turnips, garlic and mushrooms make great stocks.
Compost your unusable vegetables and fruits, coffee grounds, tea bags and egg shells. Get yourself a compost pail, line it with a BioBag (fully compostable and biodegradable), and accumulate your raw food waste for use in a composter. Many people have a composter in the backyard, but new composters in the form of small electronic kitchen appliances allow you to compost right in your own home without the use of soil, leaves and worms. The Wall Street Journal did a nice review of home composters recently and the bottom line is it’s never been easier or more convenient to compost at home. Important note: food waste that winds up in landfills is trapped in an anaerobic environment where it is unable to decompose and return nutrients to the soil.
Choose post consumer recycled napkins, paper towels, and aluminum foil and biodegradable kitchen garbage bags. There’s a double bonus to using post consumer recycled products. Recycled content means the waste that would have wound up in our landfills (or incinerated) is now being repurposed into a consumer product. As a bonus, fewer trees need to be cut down and less of our precious natural resources like aluminum are required to make additional product.
Choose glass containers to safely store and reheat leftovers and make ahead foods. By avoiding the purchase of storage containers made from petroleum-based plastics, we achieve the twin goals of safely storing our food and avoiding a product made from a non-renewable resource which requires a lot of energy to refine and when burned, emits CO2, the most prominent greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Allocate at least 10 percent of your food budget to locally grown and made foods. Shop the farmers’ markets, ctffe.com, and independent and specialty stores which support local vendors. Buy your wines directly from the wineries or a wine merchant that carries local wines.
Shop the Winter Farmers’ Markets on Saturdays from 10-2
Beltane Farms (Lebanon) makes artisanal, farmstead goat’s milk cheeses. The chevre is their fresh goat cheese and it is sold plain or dressed in fresh herbs.
Greenscapes (Danbury) carries fresh produce and a wide variety of pantry staples including jams, jellies, and honey.
This online retailer of exclusively CT-grown and made foods provides the convenience of online ordering with home delivery each Friday. www.ctffe.com. Choose from CT grown fruits and vegetables, grass fed meat, cheeses, dairy products, bread and other baked goods, and a wide variety of organic products. Urban Oaks(New Britain) organic braising greens were featured on the show.
1. The Farmer’s Cow milk is produced by a group of 6 family-owned dairy farms and is free of added growth hormones. The cows eat grass and corn grown on the farms. The milk has a very fresh and rich flavor not only due to the grass, but also the fact that it’s traditionally rather than ultra-pasteurized. The Farmer’s Cow products are widely available in supermarkets and specialty stores. Visit their site for a complete listing.
2. Twelve, a sophisticated, non-alcoholic beverage made by a Fairfield, CT company. This all natural, no sugar added, lightly carbonated drink is sophisticated, festive, and food-friendly. Created by the legendary chefs David Burke and Alfred Portale, it is now made by a company headquartered in Fairfield which outsources production to a winery in Ohio. The clever and catchy name is derived from the 12 hours which span the drink’s recommended consumption time – from noon to midnight. The base is white grape juice to which organic teas, herbs, spices and citrus essence is added, along with a light carbonation. Twelve makes a great base for mixed drinks too -try vodka or dark rum. You can find Twelve at Whole Foods Market, Palmer’s Market in Darien, and Balducci’s in Westport.
3. Hopkins Vineyard’s (New Preston) fine sparkling wines made using the same methods and grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) that are used to make Champagne. Multi award winning wines in both American and International competitions. A 30-year-old winery on a 200+ year-old family farm.
4. CT Valley Winery’s (New Hartford) Black Bear (a port-style wine) and Black Tie Cabernet Franc, an elegant and sophisticated red table wine. Jason Ferraro and his father are the team that run this CT winery that was voted Best Small Winery and won ten medals in the 2009 Big E Northeast Gold Wine Competition. The Black Tie is their most awarded wine.
Local Artisan/Specialty Foods
1. Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm’s (Lyme) premium ice cream (Lyme) (Walter Stewart’s)
2. Bear Pond Farm’s (Glastonbury) line of nut-free pestos made with organic basil and non-GMO canola oil. (Walter Stewart’s, Whole Foods Markets and )and new line of Skinny Dips – Greek style yogurt based dips are made from grass fed dairy and organic herbs. Choose from Kalamata Olive, Blue Cheese and Dill-Chive.*
Please visit www.fairfieldgreenfoodguide.com for continued support in your New Year’s Green Food Resolutions. Happy New Year!
*Samples of the new product line (Greek style yogurt based dips) were provided by the company.