Time to tool up to protect environment
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January gets a bad rep. A month of enforced abstinence, chocolate avoidance and down-to-the-bone cold. Compare it to May or August – months of sunshine and Bank Holidays, asparagus and strawberries – and you might as well strike out the first 31 days of the year entirely.
So while most of what’s going on is largely out of our hands, it is within our power to approach the new year with pragmatism, optimism, and an arsenal of cookbooks to nourish us.
So, scrap the food denial, and consider tackling your concerns around your impact on the planet, and get reading Eat To Save The Planet by Annie Bell.
Bell is a chef, food writer and nutritionist. The former Vogue columnist has written a slew of cookbooks following her “modern rustic feel”.
The aim of her book is straightforward, bold, and admittedly a little overwhelming. However, as Bell quickly makes clear, the aim is not to terrify, but to help us all tool up in the fight to protect the environment, in a way that involves us eating healthily and sustainably.
Her answer is the Planetary Health Diet, which recommends “how much of each food group we should eat”.
She calls it a way of eating that goes “beyond good nutrition, that treats our health and the environment as a common agenda. It tells us how we should eat not only to maximise our own good health, but also to halt the steady degradation of the planet at the same time.”
While plants make up the bulk of the recipe collection (there are strong Mediterranean diet vibes), this is not a veggie/vegan cookbook. Instead, writes Bell, “meat, fish and poultry are to be savoured as a treat, a luxury to be spun out with other ingredients.”
Cutting food waste and making the most of everything we have in the fridge is also paramount, she explains, hence her ‘riches from the rubble soup’ which will clear out any leftovers.
She dedicates a whole chapter to ‘one egg’ dishes, like leek and Emmental scrambled eggs, while there’s many a stew and curry to linger over (scallop tikka sounds particularly good) and all-in-one roasts and pies (the Irish stew pie is very intriguing).
Eat To Save The Planet by Annie Bell is published by One Boat, priced £16.99. Available now.