How to Embrace Sustainable Cooking at Home in 2024

December 18, 2023

More and more we’re seeing how our daily choices have a significant impact on our planet. Due to the increasing environmental concerns we are facing, this concept of ‘sustainable living’ is being adopted by millions of people worldwide. Day by day, a greater number of people are determined to reduce their individual and their community’s negative influence on the environment by putting into practice sustainable ways that promote the well-being of our planet. And we’re here to tell you that sustainable living starts in the kitchen…

It takes a village, especially when it comes to our planet’s health. But every grain of salt counts, especially in your kitchen. Here at Gradito.com we believe in the power of sustainable cooking and are proud supporters of the #zerowaste movement. It’s incredible how much you can make a difference in the world’s well-being with just a few changes in practices within your kitchen. Did you know that the way we source, prepare, and consume our food has a large impact on the world’s carbon and ecological footprint? Here you will find some practical tips and insights from Gradito’s top-tier private chefs on how to make the best eco-conscious choices in your kitchen and embrace sustainable cooking at home.

So, what steps can you take to embrace sustainable cooking at home? Gradito recommends following the 3 S’s - Support, Source, and Sustain - to put into practice an easy and simple system for maintaining an eco-friendly kitchen.

  1. Support Local Food Markets and Vendors

There’s no better way to make a positive impact on the planet than by supporting your community as you do so. If you’re looking to start your journey toward a more eco-conscious food lifestyle at home, it all starts with becoming a regular at your local food markets. Once you start getting to know the local farmers and vendors in your area, you can get to know more about the food you’re consuming.

Food that is produced within 100 miles of your home reaps all the advantages of local & seasonal eating: more flavorful foods, reduced environmental footprint, increased health benefits, and support local farmers. Eating locally will not only help reduce the transportation-related emissions of your food, but you will also experience improvements in your health and play an active role in your community.

Visiting local food markets can help:

- Boost the local economy

- Help farmers continue to thrive

- Promote sustainable agricultural practices

- Lessen the carbon footprint of your food

- Reduce the amount of plastic and waste that comes with grocery shopping

       Photo by Megan Bucknall on Unsplash

And remember, these markets are also great places to purchase anything from locally made soaps to ethically-grown meat to freshly-cut flowers. Make the effort to skip the grocery store next time, and visit one of these popular NYC food markets:

Manhattan

Location: Union Square Park

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm (year-round)

Highlights: Freshly baked bread, small-batch whiskey, award-winning cheeses

Location: Tompkins Square Park

Hours: Sundays from 8 am to 3 pm (year-round)

Highlights: Wild-caught seafood, homemade baked goods, bright flowers

Queens

Location: 34th Avenue between 79th and 80th Street

Hours: Sundays from 8 am to 2 pm (year-round)

Highlights: Specialty Mexican produce, vegan baked goods, fragrant candles

Location: Skillman Avenue between 42nd and 43rd Street

Hours: Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm (January-April) / Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm (May-December)

Highlights: Homemade pickled vegetables, local fish, free-range chicken and eggs

Brooklyn

Location: Prospect Park West and Flatbush Avenue

Hours: Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm (year-round)

Highlights: Exotic cultivated mushrooms, heritage pork charcuterie, homemade jams

Location: Washington Park & Dekalb Avenue

Hours: Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm (year-round)

Highlights: Hard cider, farmstead kimchi, maple syrup and candy

  1. Source Your Produce Ethically

When adopting a sustainable lifestyle, it’s important to know the ‘where’, ‘who’, and ‘how’ of your produce: where it was grown, who cultivated it, and how it was harvested. Ethical sourcing of produce ensures 1) the responsible use of land, 2) the fair payment of growers and farmers, and 3) the practice of sustainable farming methods.

Visiting local farmer markets like the ones recommended above is the perfect way to learn first-hand how your produce is being grown. But here at Gradito, we know that sometimes you’re short on time to stop by a market. Our Michelin private chefs are always on the go, finding their next best dish and meeting new clients. That’s why Natoora.com always has their back for simple and efficient fresh produce deliveries. With the Natoora delivery app, you can order sustainably sourced groceries to your doorstep in just one click. This chef-grade boutique produce shop works with over 400 independent growers and promotes the use of ethical agricultural methods. By purchasing these fruits and vegetables through Natoora, you can easily sustain your consumption of local foods and help these independent farmers continue to flourish.  

Another great way to ethically source your produce is getting involved in your local community garden. Make sure to look through the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) directory to find a community garden near you and more resources on how to become a part of sustainability efforts in NYC.

  1. Sustain Eco-Friendly Practices in Your Kitchen

Once you have a better understanding of where your food is coming from, it’s time to start your path toward an eco-friendlier kitchen. By putting into practice energy-efficient and #zerowaste cooking methods in your household, you will positively influence your health and the environment.

Things to Do for a More Sustainable Kitchen:

  • Choose energy-efficient appliances
  • Reduce single-use plastics
  • Replace disposable plastic bags with reusable shopping bags
  • Use glass or stainless-steel containers for food storage
  • Opt for reusable silicone or beeswax food wraps
  • Buy in bulk to reduce plastic packaging waste
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals and make DIY cleaning products using simple ingredients such as vinegar, essential oils, and baking powder
  • Create a composting system
  • Use leftover fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, and eggshells to reduce kitchen waste
  • Make nutrient-rich soil for gardening and house plants
  • Use cloth napkins and towels to reduce paper waste
  • Prevent food waste
  • Plan meals to ensure the use of ingredients before they spoil
  • Save excess produce by canning, freezing, or preserving

Gradito’s Recommended Reads:

by Bea Johnson

A comprehensive guide to reducing waste and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle, including tips for eco-friendly practices in the kitchen

by Ivy Manning

Explores the benefits of eating locally and seasonally, while including tips and tricks for incorporating sustainable ingredients into your diet

by Dana Gunders

A helpful handbook for practical strategies to make the most of your ingredients and lessen food disposal in your kitchen

by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

Perfect read to discover vegetarian and plant-based recipes that focus on sustainability and mindful eating

by Lily Cameron

This book offers how-to-advice on reducing single-use plastics and adopting sustainable practices in your home and daily life

Carrying out sustainable practices and making mindful choices in your kitchen doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Gradito’s team of talented private chefs is making efforts to put into practice sustainable methods in their kitchens, and so should you. By following the 3 S’s - Support, Source, and Sustain - you can play an active part in making a positive impact on our environment. Creating deliciously eco-friendly meals and implementing sustainable practices in your kitchen can help you and the planet live a healthy and happy life. Start living sustainably today to savor a prosperous future for generations to come.

Camelia Iturregui Fuertes
Writer
Stay up to date with all of the latest happenings and things to do in the world of food and drinks.
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