Putting the “mental” back in Environmental

Blame it on the hippies I went to school with in New Paltz. They were way ahead of the Green Movement. They built a house on the campus with leading-edge environmentally sound design. Very cool. There was actually an Environmental Studies major at New Paltz.

Yes, I was one of those who read Frances Moore Lappe and yes I was, briefly, vegetarian. It made sense for me at the time, until I went to Germany and couldn’t find anything to eat but cheese and potatoes. Story for another day.

When I dropped out of sight a bit ago with the monster migraine from hell, I wound up missing the deadline for an in-flight magazine’s Green Issue. They had an entire issue dedicated to going green. In an in-flight magazine. Only I didn’t see any indication of how to buy carbon-offsets for the flight. I did see tons of things to buy to “go green”. Perhaps they forgot about the first R. REDUCE. then, RECYCLE, then RE-USE.

I urge you to ignore anyone trying to sell you something to prove your green cred. Remember the ridiculous NBC candlelight football analysis? Sometimes, a purchase can help. My new appliances use far less energy than my old ones did. And, they have greater capacity and better functions. I also recycled at least two or three of them – “free to good home” kind of deals. (More on the kickass kitchen later.) Most purchases are not of the truly balanced. The best purchase often is the one you don’t make.

In Culinary Travel Meets Slow Food I explore the interesting confluence of two trends: Slow food and culinary travel. We want to be environmentally good citizens, but we also want to take fantastic vacations where we learn to cook with top chefs (not those top chefs; real ones.) Slow Food urges us to eat local, organic, buy fair trade products, etc. Ballymaloe Cookery School and the Allen clan (Darina runs the school, is being honored at the Cooking for Solutions event; her mother-in-law was one of the first to bring back Irish artisanal cheeses, local farm products, etc.) in County Cork are pioneers in reclaiming Ireland’s agricultural and culinary history. and practice.

The school sits on a 100 acre organic farm and students really learn what farm to fork means. Students who fly to Ireland to take the courses, I mean. One of the articles I was planning to submit to Sky Magazine was going to be a tongue-in-cheek kind of walk through a day making “green” decisions. Awake in organic cotton sheets, put feet into slippers made from….fair trade coffee..turn lights on, but wait flourescents trigger migraines, but they’re much more energy efficient…One could go mental…

The concept has some potential, don’t you think? Maybe I’ll get to it.

Anyway, both the Balllymaloe school (carbon offsets or not) and Kingsolver’s book (recycled paper or not) are bursting with ideas, recipes, resources and more.

And I bet you’ll never look at a turkey baster the same way again.


1 Response to “Putting the “mental” back in Environmental”

  1. 1 Greenwashing - It’s Not a New Salad Spinner « Jacqueline Church Trackback on August 5, 2008 at 1:07 pm

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A window into what I’m thinking and writing about.

Whether it's Food & Cooking, Sports, Film, Travel or the Business of Writing itself...you can find it all through this page. Use this sidebar and the links below to go directly to whatever strikes your fancy. Jacqueline Church's Facebook profile

Where I’ve been seen, published, cited, syndicated…

  • - Tuesday November 11 @6 PM Povo Blogging Panel. Come to 660 Washington Street in Chinatown at the Archstone Building to see what a panel of bloggers have to say about the state of blogging.
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August 22 - Courtney Hunt's acclaimed film Frozen River at the Coolidge Corner. See Diversions for more.

Caught my eye…

  • The Audubon Insectarium opens in New Orleans. See Getting Down with All that Skitters.
  • Copper River Salmon is so hot, even E!online is commenting on the stars who eat it. Taye Diggs was digging it.
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On Women and Work

Read my contributions to The Glass Hammer a new blog for executive women.


  1. Tales of the Cocktail may be over but the fun continues. Check the blogs and podcasts for all the news that fit to drink!
  2. The Maori art of facial tatooing is called moko. It is a powerful expression of tribal identity which has only recently enjoyed a resurgence as the colonial Christian prohibitions against it have lessened. Go to the Peabody Essex Museum for this rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of this amazing cultural tradition. The documentary I saw at Sundance years ago on moko, was one of the most powerful films I have ever seen.
  3. The Audubon Insectarium is a new and top-notch attraction in New Orleans. We passed by it and wondered why we'd missed it before. Turns out it's just now opening. No time this last trip, but it's on the list for the next time. Check here for info.

What's on my del.iciou.us list?


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