Friday, April 20, 2012

Celebrate "Earth Day" And A Recipe Made With Carrots, "Golden Pennies"

This Sunday, April 22 is Earth Day. In 1970 the first Earth Day was celebrated by 20 million people across the United States with Senator Gaylord Nelson as its founder. Senator Nelson realized that the US cities were being choked by smog and the rivers were getting polluted which meant that our environmental landscape in the USA was gloomy. This US Senator from Wisconsin succeeded in passing a Congressional resolution declaring April 22, a National Celebration of the Earth. This ground breaking effort earned Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom award. On April 22, 2000; the 30th anniversary of the first Earth Day, more than 5,000 groups from 184 countries celebrated Earth Day. National events were held across the globe from Africa to Washington D.C., where thousands of people marched on the National Mall. Today, Earth Day is an event to celebrate the environmental victories of the past four decades and consider the many opportunities for improvement in the future of our Mother Earth.

Did you know that the overall rate of recycling in the US today stands at about 28%? That is double what it was a decade ago. Did you know that Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every single hour? It takes 700 years for a plastic bottle to start to decompose in a landfill. Did you know that 100 acres of the Amazon Rain Forest are being cut down every minute? Continued deforestation and global warming will lead to irreversible damage of up to 80% of the rain forest over the next 21 years. Did you know that one in every four mammals face the threat of extinction? The world has lost so far 68 animal species. Less than half a century ago, there were 100,000 tigers roaming our planet, but today fewer than 5,000 are still alive in the wild. All great cats currently face a mortal risk.

A great way to celebrate Earth Day is to prepare your food in a way that is easy on the environment. Earth day recipes should include local produce of fruits and vegetables which would contain less harmful pesticides as well as support your local farmers. If you use organic it could cut your families pesticide exposure by almost 90%. Purchase foods with less packaging so you do not create more waste. Use your own reusable containers for your grab and go foods. Start to rethink the most energy efficient cooking methods for your foods. Avoid using your oven, and go for using your stove top, crock pots or even a toaster oven. When cooking, prepare enough to save or freeze to eat later. You will use fewer resources. Eat more raw foods, less to cook and better for your health. Run only full loads of dishes or clothes with Energy Star appliances. Wait till after 8PM, as it saves energy by avoiding the power “rush hour,” when more resources are strained by higher emissions. These are just some ways to help out planet earth and our environment.
My friend Caroline
My recipe this week is a very environmentally friendly dish. You can use organic vegetables from your local farm growers and only use your stove top to prepare this recipe. This cold carrot salad is very appealing and colorful. The sweet and sour flavor marries together which gives it a pungent taste. This delicious side dish is what I call, “Caroline’s Golden Pennies Salad” and was taught to me by a very close friend and colleague of mine, Caroline. Sadly she is in a better place, so I would like to dedicate this recipe and blog post to her. Don’t forget to celebrate Earth Day and be environmentally friendly! Enjoy!!

"Caroline’s Golden Pennies Salad"

2 lbs of raw carrots, sliced in rings
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large onion sliced in rings
1 (10.75 once) can condensed tomato soup (no water added)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
3/4 cup of distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to boil, then add washed sliced carrots and cook until they are tender (not soft) approximately 10 minutes. Drain well and cool in a bowl. Mix rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir well. Then add the carrot while liquid is hot. Mix all of the vegetables until coated. Cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marinate. Can be served as a side salad dish, either hot or cold. I prefer it to be cold. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if you still have leftovers.
Till Next Time…….

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