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Cooking Socially and Sustainably

What’s Sustainable Cooking All About?

Sustainable cooking is the practice of sourcing produce, meats, and dairy products that were grown in an ecological and ethical manner and using them as ingredients in your meals. Growing food this way is called sustainable agriculture and it’s one of the first steps to cooking sustainably.

Healthy livestock that are pasture-raised roam freely in their natural environment, eat grasses, and appropriately digest their food. Pasture-raised livestock are less likely to be given antibiotics and their meat, eggs, and dairy products are more nutritious compared to their large-scale industrial counterparts.

In-season and Sustainable Foods Taste Better

Purchasing seasonal, sustainably grown crops will also boost flavors. Food that is in season is fresher, tastes better, and does not need to be transported long distances to get to your table. In Napa County, many of these products can be purchased locally at farmers markets, farm stands, and even on the farms and ranches right where they were grown.

In Napa County, it’s easy to find local, fresh food

There are a variety of markets and grocery stores that have stands dedicated to local products. From the American Canyon Farmers’ Market and Calistoga Farmers’ Market, to the Brown Valley Market, Napa Whole Foods, Napa Raley’s, and various farm stands, there are many options to choose from! Find out where your local market is and when it’s open.

In addition to shopping for your favorite, fresh ingredients, consider growing them as well. Backyard gardens are a great way to know where your food is coming from, and really enjoy the fruits of your labor! Additionally, community gardens offer similar benefits all while working side-by side with your neighbor and other members of the community. Check out ways to participate.

Cook Sustainably for a happier, healthier life

Cooking sustainably can lead to a healthier, environmentally and socially conscious lifestyle. Sustainably grown food can be fresher, tastier, more nutritious and less processed (if at all). These products generally come from local food sources that prioritize reduction of negative environmental impacts and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, pasture-based systems let their animals feed on natural grasses and let their manure act as fertilizer, reducing their carbon footprint. Learning how you can make an impact with food choices and inviting your family and friends to the kitchen or joining a cooking class makes cooking a fun, social activity.

These days, purposeful actions are key. Cooking sustainably is purposeful, at every step of the way. From shopping at your neighborhood market and chatting with your local farmer, to choosing fresh, seasonal ingredients, to cooking at home with loved ones, these all contribute to an intentional activity centered around health and sustainability.

Let’s Get Cooking!

Napa County offers a variety of cooking classes. This is a great way to kick-start your sustainable cooking adventure while meeting like-minded folks along the way. Try new and healthy recipes using local ingredients and take them home to family and friends. Check out the Silverado Cooking School, CIA at Copia, Gourmet Retreats, or the Oxbow Market Tour and Cooking Class with Julie to find your next experience!