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St. Bart's Community Cookbook Project

Sponsored by Faith in Action at St. Bart's

Modern innovations in agriculture technology and global supply chains have ensured that our supermarkets are awash with a huge variety of foods, no longer limited by locality and season. Unfortunately, our modern food system is also a major contributor to carbon emissions, pollution, and destruction of crucial wildlife habitats. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, about 38% of the global land surface is dedicated to agriculture, two thirds of which are grazing lands for livestock. Unsurprisingly, animal based foods are particularly carbon intensive, with cattle and other ruminants (goats, sheep) being the most carbon intensive by far.

While these issues require systemic change to address, there are steps that can be taken at an individual level to significantly decrease one’s own carbon footprint. One of the simplest is to eat fewer carbon intensive animal products, particularly beef and dairy. These changes do not need to be drastic to be effective: Partially substituting some of the butter and milk in a mashed potato recipe with vegetable oil will substantially lower that meal’s carbon footprint, so will swapping a serving of beef for a serving of chicken.

As we celebrate Earth Day this month, we invite you to submit your favorite recipes to an Earth friendly St. Bart’s community cookbook. We encourage all recipes that feature an environmentally friendly spin whether that be a fully plant based entrée (say, cauliflower shawarma) or a simple lower carbon swap (beef stroganoff that substitutes half of the beef for chicken).

Deadline for submissions: May 15

Submit a Recipe

Example Recipe: Red Lentil Soup

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red lentils, washed (no need to soak)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chicken/vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • Olive oil 

Heat a medium cooking pan and add enough vegetable oil to prevent vegetables from sticking. Saute onions and carrots until you see a bit of browning. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and continue to cook until the color darkens, adding oil as necessary. Add lentils and stir until well coated. Pour in stock and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and falling apart. Add paprika and olive oil to taste.

Submit a Recipe


Human Toll

Beyond the high environmental impacts, our modern food system also extracts a high human toll.  Here are some further sources that delve into some of these issues:

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