Thursday, April 22, 2010

Introducing: Thursday’s Terra Treats!

Happy Earth Day!

Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day for recognizing our country’s environmental challenges and calling for action, no matter how small, to preserve our planet’s incredible natural resources. Even small things you do can help - whether it’s planting a tree, walking to and from work, writing to your Congressman, or switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances.

A simple but significant way you can help is by making smart choices about what you eat. During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration called on civilian Americans to help the war effort through modest changes in their eating habits. The government encouraged people to plant victory gardens, use less wheat and meat, and cut down on waste by both serving less and using up leftovers.

While America is no longer facing the same struggles and shortages that we were almost 100 years ago, these lessons still hold merit today and can be a great way to make an impactful change in your life. Get involved in a community garden space (like any of GreenThumb’s urban gardens, for example), or plant your own herb or vegetable garden. Seeds are inexpensive and can be purchased at many local nurseries or hardware stores, and can also be bought online - Little Scarlet is partial to the beautifully packaged (and historically accurate!) seed collections from Beekman 1802 (heirloom vegetable and tomato seeds).

If you’re interested in using less wheat and meat and cutting down on waste, there’s an easy approach to both of these changes - try incorporating one meat-free day a week into your diet. I know, I’m the last person to voluntarily give up my pulled pork sandwiches, ribeyes, and roast chickens, but what good are these dishes without their wonderful vegetable accompaniments? Making a conscious effort to forgo meat for one day out of every seven is a small concession that comes with high benefits. Vegetables are generally much cheaper than their meaty counterparts, and they also contain more fiber (which keeps you feeling fuller longer) and fewer saturated fats. The American Heart Association recommends a diet high in fiber and low in saturated fats because of its indicated positive effects on cholesterol and the risk for heart disease.

We’re fortunate enough to live in a country with incredible variety in our produce, and vegetables have such wonderful flavors and textures, it’s really not much of a sacrifice to allow them to shine on your dinner table once a week. Whether you do it for ethical reasons, your health, or your budget, something about a little bit less meat just feels right.

And so today, Earth Day, Little Scarlet is introducing a new weekly feature: Thursday’s Terra Treats!

Each Thursday, Little Scarlet will bring you a new vegetarian recipe. And if there’s a particular vegetable you’re curious about or want to see featured, send me an e-mail - I’d love to include it! The first recipe to be featured in Little Scarlet’s Thursday’s Terra Treats is a well-loved Martha Stewart recipe for Spicy Black Bean Cakes.


1 comment:

  1. Seeing the famous Formento kitchen sign on this blog post made me miss you lots!