Autumn is one of the nicest times of the year in Los Angeles. We often have clear, sunny days. They can be bright and warm, without being stifling. Even the sky seems bluer. It’s the perfect time of year to pack a lunch and take it on the road. There are so many wonderful places in Los Angeles to enjoy a meal outdoors. The park, the beach, up to the mountains or out to the desert. Beauty is all around us, so it’s just a matter of deciding where to go and what setting to enjoy.
But picnics can make a lot of trash. Plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic wrap. All destined to be used once, then spend the next 100 years in a landfill. Well, just the thought of all that garbage ruins the occasion for me. It really does. So when I take my meals outdoors I try and give them an environmentally friendly spin. I don’t pack our finest china, but I do use real dishes, real glasses and I try to find other creative ways to eliminate the trash.
But let’s be clear. The rules for this challenge were to ‘whip up’ a four-part meal (entree, side, drink, and dessert), that was easily transportable and fit into the cooler provided. All these other constraints I took on voluntarily. I even threw in two extra courses (an appetizer and cheese course). Which means my post could have veered into dangerous territory, filled with lots of tedious photos and tons of useless blather. When I say I want to cut down on the garbage, well that is an editorial decision as much as an environmental concern.
So I opted for a video. It clearly shows me packing my meal and transporting it. Saving you (and me) from blog overload.
The picnic I have planned today is designed to be Zero Waste in more ways than one. Every single thing I packed into this cooler is consumable, compostable, recyclable or reusable.
One of my favorite Martha Stewart tricks to reduce waste and protect my precious consumables is ‘packing peanuts’. And I don’t mean the Styrofoam kind either. Nope, I mean peanuts. Roasted unshelled peanuts. They can cushion delicate items such as sandwiches, bottles, even glassware. Which means when their work is done, the peanuts make a tasty addition to the meal, with compostable shells as a bonus.
I thought one more wasteful aspect of this picnic could be eliminated as well. I decided to enjoy this meal and the view of the city from the hills above my house. So you can’t even say fossil fuel was wasted transporting me and my meal to our destination. Because I used people power and dog love to get there. GREG
SERIOUS FUN FOOD
My previous Project Food Blog Entries
FoodBuzz Challenge #5: Grilled Pizza