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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Global Warming Diet

Uploaded: Sep 14, 2018

With Hurricane Florence pounding the east coast, and a week of commitments happening at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, it’s time to remind ourselves of all the ways we as citizens can participate in the reduction of greenhouse gases blanketing and warming the environment. Led by Governor Jerry Brown, the summit is a gathering of world leaders from cities, states and companies in support of the Paris Agreement, signed by all countries in the world except the U.S., which pulled out of the deal after Donald Trump became president. Hail to the Chief! (plus torrential rain, blasting hurricanes, severe drought and uncontrollable wildfire).

At the conference, actor Harrison Ford was cheered while demanding that voters “stop giving power to people who don’t believe in science.”

In our 2008 book, Cool Cuisine, Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming, we wrote about the connection between science, food, and global warming, noting that 20 – 25% of all greenhouse gas emissions are a result of our modern day food system, and the Global Warming Diet. We cheered studies at UC Davis that revealed six main ways our food system effects global warming.

In this spirit, here’s a delicious, soothing vegetarian recipe from the book for your culinary commitment to a better planet.

Citizens - vote with your fork!

Japanese Hot Pot with Carrots and Kudzu
Serves 5

A quick, soothing dish, easy enough for any day, interesting enough for a dinner party.

2 cups cooked grain of choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 teaspoons kudzu (powdered or chunk style, arrowroot or cornstarch may be substituted)
4 teaspoons water
3 carrots, cut into 1-inch rounds
1 head cauliflower, broken into large florets
3 cups stock, plus extra for deglazing pan
4 ounces smoked packaged tofu, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Mirin, toasted sesame oil, brown rice vinegar (or lemon juice) to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger and or garlic
Salt to taste
Green onions or nori, sliced thin, for garnish

Soak utoshibuta* in water ½ hour before.

Prepare your favorite recipe for cooked grain, or use the “Grain Cooking Chart” in Cool Cuisine for some new ideas.

While grain is cooking, heat a medium-size, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil and onion, stir and top with utoshibuta. Cover pot and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. While onions cook, dissolve kudzu in a small bowl with 4 teaspoons water. Set aside. After 5 minutes, move onions to one side of the pot; add half of the carrots. Spread onions on top of the carrots, and then add the remaining half of the carrots on top of the onions. Add a little stock as needed. Cover with utoshibuta and lid for pot, cook over medium heat about 7 minutes. Add cauliflower florets on top of the carrots. Add a little stock as needed. Cover with both lids again and cook an additional 7 minutes or so, until vegetables are tender. Add tofu and stir. Combine stock with soy sauce, mirin, toasted sesame oil, vinegar/juice and ginger/garlic. Bring to a low boil. By now the kudzu/water mixture will have hardened. Stir it well and add to the pot, bring to a boil, stirring until sauce thickens. Check consistency; add more kudzu (diluted in water) or stock if needed. Garnish with green onions, sliced nori, and Condiment Plate (see page 183 – Cool Cuisine).

* Utoshibuta is a Japanese wooden cooking lid with a handle that fits inside your pot. Buy at Asian grocers, or substitute a dinner plate.

What is it worth to you?


Posted by resident, a resident of Midtown,
on Sep 14, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Cows are really terrible for the environment, especially in California where a huge amount of water has to be diverted to support the cow industry. Simply eliminating cow products from your diet will help the environment a lot more than buying that Tesla. Also, cow meat is one of the least healthy forms of protein, so not eating it improves your health as well.

Posted by Rick, a resident of another community,
on Sep 15, 2018 at 2:49 pm

For an overview of all things global warming, addressing denial, the current food system, and potential personal and far ranging solutions, visit Ask ten other people to have a look too. It is a call to individual and group action, with tons a data from credible sources, and lots of pictures, charts and graphs that tell the story at a glance.

Posted by The Imapact of Global Warming, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Sep 15, 2018 at 3:01 pm

I am very concerned about global warming and its effect on one of my favorite seasonal dishes...cioppino. As per a recent San Jose Mercury front page story, global warming will have a profound effect on sourcing many of the key ingredients.

This is very disheartening as cioppino is expensive enough to prepare at home for a gathering of 6-8 people. Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi's charges $25.00 a bowl for theirs and I imagine the price will eventually increase as time goes on.

If we can reduce global warming in an effort to preserve traditional seafood dishes, I am all for it.

As far as quality beef is concerned, we prefer Kobe/Wagyu which is produced on a small scale in Japan and then air-transported to the mainland USA. Perhaps if the producers included smaller shipments in the baggage compartments of passenger jetliners we could reduce the impact of air-related pollution and its effect on global warming.

Your picture looks like a healthier version of the Teriyaki Bowl offered at Jack in the Box (which I have never had to date and do not plan to in the immediate future). i imagine it is very cost-effective to make but not very filling.

Posted by Winnie Mae, a resident of East Palo Alto,
on Sep 16, 2018 at 2:37 pm

If global warming is reduced significantly, can we go back to eating good food again?

Posted by No More Cheeseburgers?, a resident of Barron Park,
on Sep 17, 2018 at 2:31 pm

"Simply eliminating cow products from your diet will help the environment a lot more than buying that Tesla. Also, cow meat is one of the least healthy forms of protein, so not eating it improves your health as well."

Drink soy milk instead? Ugh. No more cheese?

Posted by franklinjhonty, a resident of Barron Park,
on Sep 19, 2018 at 12:50 am

Great article about Global warming diet. these type of diet is necessary because the temperature of the planet is so high.

Posted by Ghaha12, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Sep 22, 2018 at 4:19 am

Ghaha12 is a registered user.

This one captures some of the playfulness of the team. "The New Horizons team is definitely a very vibrant collection of smart and funny people," Leila told me. "I haven't been around enough in academia yet to know where they go on those axes in comparison to the scientist average, but I do get the impression that scientists tend to be excitable nerds and that there's going to be something fun happening when you get enough of them together."

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