Stories / Interviews

The Bookshelf: Chefs Can Save the World

JBF Editors

JBF Editors

October 15, 2012


The James Beard Foundation asks chef and author Jeremy Barlow's for five ways to green your kitchen

Jeremy Barlow helms the kitchen at Tayst, Nashville’s first green-certified restaurant, but it’s his new book, Chefs Can Save the World, that’s been making waves. “Greening our nation’s restaurants will create the kind of demand for sustainably grown food required to truly change the food system,” he says. Curious how home cooks can pitch in? Here, Jeremy shares five simple ways to green your own kitchen.


By cooking food that is local, in season, and grown in an environ-mentally and socially responsible manner, you take a giant step away from the many perils of factory farming.


Rather than rinsing dishes with running water before loading the dishwasher, keep a tub of soapy water in your sink and just let the dishes soak in the tub for a minute or two—you’ll use far less water this way. Take it a step further by changing the aerators on your faucets to 1.5 or even .5 GPM.


After a meal, reserve any unconsumed drinking water or other sugar-free beverages, as well as meat-free (and cooled!) cooking water, and use it to water houseplants and flowerbeds.


If your recipe will allow it, avoid metal containers for oven cooking. Glass and ceramic bakeware warms more quickly and retains heat longer, so you can reduce your oven temperature by 25 degrees.


On average, Americans throw out almost 250 pounds of edible waste per person, per year. At home, compost plate scrapings to create a nutrient-rich garden supplement, and seek creative ways to use leftovers, reducing both waste and your food costs.

Join Jeremy tomorrow at noon for a special installment of our Enlightened Eaters series at the Beard House. Visit for more info. Jeremy will also be cooking at our JBF Leadership Awards dinner on October 17. To learn more, visit