One of the best parts about working at jungle is the delicious fresh meal prepared daily (see blog posting “Salad a la jungle” for photos and a more detailed description). For those who aren’t so lucky, a packed lunch is a school and office necessity. When attempting a brown bag feast, it’s hard to find a balance between quality and convenience–but we’ve got a few “green” tips to spice up the lunches of the environmentally conscious “everyday gourmet.”
Tip #1: When in doubt, buy local.
Supporting local growers at farmer’s markets not only ensures that you know exactly what you’re eating, but also cuts down on unnecessary packaging and fuel emissions used in transport. In addition to fresh produce, many farmer’s markets offer diverse products such as meats, honey, soap, eggs, and flowers.
Tip #2: Cook Big.
As far as convenience goes, nothing beats a frozen lunch. To (again) save on packaging and resources, try cooking one or two large meals a week to divide up and freeze in reusable containers. Simply heat up your individual portion for lunch, or freeze a large tupperware to serve your family for dinner.
Tip #3: Accept the power of the bean.
While cooking your large soon-to-be-frozen dinners made with organic farmer’s market produce, don’t be afraid to switch out ground beef for tofu. Tofu is a delicious and animal-friendly alternative to meat/dairy products, and protects you against the harmful carcinogens present in processed milk and cheese.