Just How Environmental Unfriendly was My Holiday Feast?

This past holiday has been a blast. Spent 4 super long days with family and friends, eating great food and going on fun trips. However, I cannot but help think of how much this holiday has brought harm to the environment. I recently saw a picture on the side of a street while walking near Balboa Park in San Diego and came across this picture. It made me think of the meaning of the holiday and what the holiday brings. Consumption is a huge problem and it takes small steps to reduce. As an inspired chef, I am proud that I had the thought of reducing consumption during the holiday. I know that it is often hard to judge consumption when it comes to cooking. taking into account the life cycle of the food, the travel to get the food, the prep time, the fuel burned for cooking, the left-overs thrown away, the electricity, etc.

Before the holiday, I made a goal for myself to only buy food once and to only spend a certain amount of money ($100). I tried to buy items that I can use in multiple dishes and or that can be converted if there are any left-overs.  I have a dream of opening up a restaurant where the food prep are the least harmful to the environment. For example going local, reducing cooking time, smaller portion, or charging based on carbon emission. But anyways, during this holiday I bought the following

Meat: Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, Beef

Veggie: Lettuce, carrots, celery, broccoli, pumpkin, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, green onion

Fruits: Cranberry, Strawberry, Banana, apple, mango

Other: cilantro, mint, chocolate, bread, breadcrumbs, flour

With these items  and leftovers I was able to make several dishes for all meals for 8-10 ppl all holiday long.

– Turkey without stuffing (left over were turn into turkey fried rice) –> turkey bone were used to make soup base for porridge

– Oven Baked Salmon (left over were used in salmon fish cake)

– fried Salmon stuffed wonton (no left over)

-salad with berries (ate left over berries as fruits, wanted to dry them but didn’t have time)

-stuffing (left over were were turned into baked pasta by adding pasta and cheese) –> left over pasta was turned into a casserole

-mash potato (made soup with pumpkin for creamy taste)

-beef and onion (left over were made into stir fry)

-fruit salad (left over fruits were used to make banana chocolate cake with the bread)

-brownie, cake (too popular…no left over)


About t5huang

Masters in Environmental Science at UPenn Candidate
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