Mother Earth Living

Cook a Holiday Feast: 3 Recipes to Eat Local This Holiday Season

You can eat locally, lower your food’s carbon emissions and save money while serving up a festive holiday meal.
By Pieter Dijkstra
November/December 2008
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Classic Au Gratin Potatoes get a local makeover when you use homegrown potatoes and local cream and cheese.
Photo By Joe Lavine
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We put more carbon into the atmosphere by eating than we do by driving. That distressing news—based in part on how far food travels to reach our plates—has many cooks exploring “low-carbon” diets that call for eating less meat and dairy, and buying local whenever possible. When the holidays approach, it’s tempting to call off any type of diet in the spirit of the season, but you don’t have to. These delicious, low-carbon recipes—crowd favorites at A Spice of Life Catering in Boulder, Colorado—make a solid base for a delicious meal just like Grandma might have made.

Chicken Roasted with Thyme 

Chickens don’t emit huge amounts of methane (the gas cattle produce that contributes to global warming), and they require only 2 pounds of grain to produce a pound of meat, compared with about 6 pounds of grain for a feedlot cow and 3 pounds for a pig. Choose free-range chicken (it’s raised more humanely and is actually more nutritious) and local veggies and cream.

Au Gratin Potatoes 

These potatoes are simple to make and always please a crowd. 

Mushroom Bread Pudding

Finding a local source for mushrooms goes a long way toward lowering your holiday meal’s carbon footprint. 

Pieter Dijkstra is chef de cuisine for A Spice of Life, a green catering company in Boulder, Colorado. 








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