Online Magazine

& Cooking Club

In This Issue

Feature Articles

Making heads & tails of

the squash kingdom

6 Tricks to Take the Bland

out of Summer Squash

Zucchini Overload:

how to turn over-abundance

into advantage

5 Fast Ways to Cook Squash +

5 Simple Ways to Dress It Up

In Every Issue

Why We Love It

Top 10 Questions about Squash

The Green Kitchen

Picky Eater Tips

Money Saving Tricks

News from the Farm


Cooking School

Cooking Classes:

    Greek Potato Salad

    Zucchini Salad Americana

Buying the Best

Storing for Flavor

Prepping Tricks & Tips

Cooking Basics

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes

14 Easy, Creative Dishes Using Summer Squash

Making Heads & Tails of the Squash Kingdom 6 Tricks toTake the Bland out of Summer Squash Zucchini Overload: how to turn over-abundance into advantage Zucchini Saute with 5 Variations Recipe List for Zucchini Buying The Best Storing For Flavor Prepping Tricks & Tips Cooking Basics Why We Love It The Green Kitchen Picky Eater Tips Money Saving Tricks News From The Farm #CookingClassPotatoSalad #Top10Questions In This Issue

“Not In My Backyard!”

<<Green Kitchen

1. Scheme on Replacements Now that I think of it, do I really need foil to cover that casserole dish?  Maybe an old cookie sheet would do for baking; plastic lids can be purchased for refrigerating.  Bread can be warmed between two pie plates. . . .  Let’s get creative!

Notes:  My research went only 4 Google pages deep.  Some of the sources are dated.  Some industry sources insist that things are changing for the better.  Let’s hope so, but in the meantime, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

1.  “Jamaica Bauxite Case (BAUXITE)” undated white paper circa 1995, American University, Technology and Environment Database

2.  “Chapter 7. Environmental Management in the Bauxite, Alumina, and Aluminum Industry in Brazil,” Liliana Acero, International Research Development Centre

3.  “Bauxite Mining: Threatened Eastern Ghats of India,” Srinivas Ganjivarapu, Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict, Article No:108, March 08, 2007

4.  “Measuring the environmental impact of aluminium production” 16 March 2006, produced by Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia's national science agency.

5.  “Aluminum,” from the Environmental Literacy Council,

6.  “Utkal Mining and Alumina Refinery Project, Environment related clearances and their implementation,”

7.  “Aluminium Foil – Recycling, Source Reduction and Energy Recovery,” (A to Z of Materials)

4 Steps to Foil-less

2. Buy Recycled  

For the few times when I can’t devise a foil replacement, I’ll use recycled.  Robin Shreeves of Mother Nature Network explains:  “Aluminum can be recycled over and over, and one of the things it can be recycled into is aluminum foil. It takes only 5 percent of the energy to make recycled aluminum foil that it would take to make foil from virgin aluminum.  

3. Reuse

Once I use a new piece of foil, I’ll soak and wash it immediately afterwards so it can be used again, even if it’s missing its original shine and new-foil-rustle.  

4.  Recycle  

When the foil is finally used beyond recognition, I’ll take a couple seconds to wipe or rinse off any big food pieces so it can be recycled with my other cans.

Here’s my plan of attack:

The telltale label on this foil reveals its source:  a package of tamales from the local tortillaria. Dull and crinkled this foil might be, but it did a fine job of covering my Chili-Stuffed Squash.  

All this damage is just from the mining phase.  Once mined, there’s the processing phase, where the bauxite ore is turned into aluminum.  This phase uses a tremendous amount of power while also emitting perfluorocarbons (PFCs), “powerful greenhouse gases which remain permanently in the atmosphere once released.”

No doubt the production phase (when aluminum is transformed into foil) has even more impacts, but I didn’t need to read more.  Making aluminum foil clearly isn’t something I’d want done in my back yard.  So how can I stop dumping on the Jamaicans, the Indians, and whatever other people are supporting my fetish for shiny aluminum foil?    

It’s a big problem, because aluminum is used in lots of things.  But that’s not going to stop me from starting–even if it’s something small like the foil I use in the kitchen.  Just imagine if we could each eliminate a roll, or two or three, each year.

What’s In a Piece of Aluminum Foil?  

This time I decided to find out  what happens upstream.  Turns out, there’s a lot more than aluminum foil wrapped inside that cardboard box:

Without a second thought, I pull a piece of foil from the roll, loving the slight rustle it makes–the sound of shiny, new aluminum foil.  This single act is a metaphor for my entire life:  flipping on light switches, adoring the air conditioner, tapping on my computer and chatting on my cell phone, never wondering “What happens upstream and to whom?”

Don’t Be Foiled

Mud:  To produce one ton of alumina (the starting point for aluminum), one ton of red mud waste is created.  This presents a monument-sized problem for any country, but especially one like tiny Jamaica  Each year, 3 million tons of alkaline mud is dumped in this country that’s about the size of Rhode Island.

Water Contamination  Making matters worse, the mud waste is laced with caustic soda (used to extract alumina from its native bauxite ore) which seeps into the groundwater after the mud is dumped.  

Deforestation  Bauxite ore is mined from big open pits which means forest lands and their habitats and aquifers get replaced with big red scars.  

Erosion  Once lands are deforested, erosion begins.

Noise, Air Pollution  Mining requires road construction through dense forests, liquid and gaseous effluents emissions, bright illumination, blasting with explosives, drilling and resultant vibration and dust and the operation of heavy loading and unloading equipment.

Wildlife Disruption  It goes without saying that animal life is disrupted.

Native Population Dislocation Native peoples are also dislocated.  For example, in the Eastern Ghats of India, “[t]wenty-seven hills in the Visakhapatnam district have been identified for bauxite mining. Each mining site has at least 10 villages surrounding it, which means that approximately 270 villages will be adversely affected. . . . The tribal communities believe that bauxite mining would not only render thousands of tribal people homeless, it would also sound the death-knell for the cultural diversity of the community and the endemic biodiversity of Eastern Ghats.”

Soil Erosion  

© 2009 Culinary Concepts, Inc., Boulder CO

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