Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm going to buy this book

Yesterday I returned the library's copy of Cool Cuisine by Laura Stec.

I've actually had some email correspondence with Laura thanks to a member of the Environmental Commission in the Diocese of California. So I wanted to read her book on climate change and our food choices.

There is lots of data here, data you can use, data that's sound scientifically, with footnotes, no less. How our food is produced makes a significant contribution to greenhouse gases - which we knew. But here in one place is the ammo for making the case for those who don't want to spend endless hours surfing the web, and wondering about the edginess of some of the sites with data.

Laura is clearly not a strident purist, but a chef who wants people to do something to make a difference, improving their diet and its pleasures, while lessening their foodprint. One example is her comment on using imported spices and condiments - if they we get you eating more fruits and vegetables which are locally sourced, go ahead. What struck me as strange though, was the lapse into macrobiotic mythology (and I'm afraid here I am using that term not correctly, but pejoratively) in the latter chapters of the book. For me, the woo-woo detracted from the sensible tone of the rest of the work.

You'll also find here suggestions for things to do with others. Start a book and cook club and follow the suggestions for documentaries to watch and tastings to explore. And of course there are recipes. Great photos, too.

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