An Earth Celebration Menu: 3 Low-Carbon Recipes for Eating Local

Zero out your earth day dinner's carbon emissions.

| March/April 2009

  • Bright, multicolored beets offer color and flavor contrast in this creamy Parsnip Flan.
    Photography By Joe Lavine
  • Serve meat in small portions to reduce your meal's environmental impact. This full menu for eight requires only one leg of lamb and four pounds of steak.
    Photography By Joe Lavine
  • Finding meat from a local provider lessens your meal's carbon footprint. This Lamb Ravioli in Broth features ingredients available from your area dairy.
    Photography By Joe Lavine

This Earth Day—or any holiday, for that matter—why not host a low- or even zero-carbon celebration? Menu selection, travel planning and carbon offsets make such an event not only possible but pleasurable.

Jason Rogers, executive chef at the St. Julien Hotel and Spa in Boulder, Colorado, hosted a zero-carbon dinner for Earth Day last year. Rogers developed recipes for a five-course meal made from local, natural, or organic proteins and produce. On average, the various ingredients traveled 43 miles from farm to plate.

The hotel calculated its carbon emissions in tons for the day of the event, including local food transport, wine shipping from California, and guest and staff travel. Though their use was 13.61 metric tons, the hotel purchased offsets through UHG Consulting, also in Boulder, for 100 metric tons.

You too can achieve a zero-carbon dinner party by creating a seasonal, local menu and asking guests to offset travel. Offset the food’s travel costs yourself, or ask each guest to sponsor one course or ingredient.

Lamb Ravioli in Broth 

Lessen your meal's carbon footprint with locally souced meat and dairy proudcts, featured in this recipe for lamb ravioli. 

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