31 May 2008

How to save the world with a pressure cooker

I got a pressure cooker for my birthday. It's a Hawkins brand, apparently made in India, obviously designed for safety.

At the grocery store, locally-made chicken breast is selling for $18/kg - about $2/serving (about $1,500/year for two people). Mung beans sell for $4/kg, and that's shipped to New Zealand from Canada!

Put a half cup of mung beans, a half cup of brown rice, and a cup of water in the pressure cooker. Turn on the heat. Once it starts hissing, cook for 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and lose pressure on its own. Serves at least two. I usually have a third serving which I take for lunch the next day.

Elapsed time: maybe 15 minutes. Nothing had to be refrigerated. No chance of salmonella. Total cost: about $0.40/serving (about $300/year for two people).

This factor of 5 difference in costs directly reflects the difference in resources required to produce, deliver, and prepare the foods. That means a factor of 5 difference in impact on the environment, too.

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