One-pot meals are an increasingly popular component of the green living movement. These simple meals offer all the convenience of prepackaged frozen foods, with none of the ecological drawbacks. One-pot meals can include a wide variety of popular dishes, including soups, stews, curries, pizzas, pilafs, rice dishes and stir-fries. These easy-to-make, inexpensive dishes provide several environmental benefits over other meals.
Here are a few of the ecological benefits of one-pot meals.
If you make your one-pot meals from scratch, they will involve significantly less waste than most other foods. Many “convenience” foods, such as TV dinners, are overpackaged and involve the use of cardboard boxes, plastic wrap and aluminum products. If you plan your meals carefully, you can minimize the amount of landfill waste that you use in your kitchen.
Over-processing is responsible for many of the ecological drawbacks associated with a conventional American diet. Massive amounts of petroleum-based energy must be consumed to refine and produce the ingredients used in prepackaged foods. One-pot meals are more convenient than more elaborate, multi-course dishes, but they do not involve the amount of processing associated wit othe convenient foods.
In your own home, you can conserve energy by using one-pot meals instead of multi-course dishes. A typical American meal might involve the use of a microwave, three stove-eyes and an oven. However, one-pot meals only require input from a single energy source. This means fewer fossil fuels, less carbon waste, and a lower electricity bill. After just a few weeks of making one-pot meals, you may notice your energy bills declining.
You probably don’t want to wash five pots and eight serving utensils after cooking a single meal. One-pot meals minimize the amount of water and energy needed to clean cookware. By cooking one-pot meals on a regular basis, you can reduce your water consumption and the amount of time you must put into dishwashing. One-pot meals offer both convenience and an opportunity to make your lifestyle greener.
Need ideas to get started? Eartheasy offers several suggestions for simple one-pot meals.