Mother Earth is a funny lady. Over the past week, she has made us feel all the seasons with warm, summer weather on Friday and Saturday to intense rainstorms that left us all a sopping mess. Needless to say, we’re ready for warmer, sunnier weather, but as you walk home, I encourage you to take a look at the patches of grass coming back after the cold winter. You’ll start noticing small purple crocus and bright yellow daffodils dotting the pathways showing us that spring is finally here!
As we are finally starting to feel some signs of spring, let’s take time to celebrate Earth Day, this Sunday, April 22. Earth Day is a global movement that brings together people from all over the world to advocate for the health and beauty of our planet. Earth Day was started in the 70s by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as a way to increase public awareness of environmental issues. Senator Nelson was inspired by the student anti-war movement and organized a national “teach-in” on the environment. The idea was to generate enough energy and awareness to force environmental protection onto the agenda.
April 22, 1970, was the first Earth Day across the United States. Approximately 20 million people participated by taking to the streets and parks to demonstrate for environmental causes. This event was the catalyst for the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts to be passed by the end of the year. Now, Earth Day is a global event celebrated every year by more than a billion people in 192 countries around the world. We are all connected to the Earth, rely on its natural resources, and should be seeking ways in which we can do our part to keep it clean and healthy for generations to come.
Corbin Hill Food Project is deeply connected to environmental work through our focus on local food. One of the most immediate environmental benefits to supporting local food is reducing the number of food miles, which refers to the distance your food has to travel between the grower and your plate. Many of the items you find in your local grocery story travel over 2000 miles to get to you. Cutting down on these miles reduces fuel consumption and air pollution. Supporting local food also allows you to enjoy produce at its peak freshness. Additionally, many small and mid-scale producers utilize zero or fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides than the large-scale conventional growers that typically sell to chain supermarkets. This practice benefits both the consumer and the environment by keeping harmful toxins out of the air, water, soils, and our bodies. Buying local also helps preserve small farmland. If you are supporting local farmers and growers, they are able to sustain their operations. Without your support, these lands could be sold for development purposes, which would cause disruption to entire ecosystems and waterways. Participating in the Corbin Hill Farm Share and bringing your reusable bag to pick up each week are two ways that you are supporting a healthier environment. In the past, we’ve also shared ideas with you about ways to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, which also helps reduce the amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere.
Earth Day is 5 days away! Looking for more ways to reduce your footprint? New York City has a ton of events and volunteer opportunities available. Check out some of the links below and find a way to give back to your community and love our Earth.
Eight Events To Attend This Earth Day In NYC
Peppers are a culinary game changer. Kitchen fanatics around the globe use both sweet and hot varieties to transform bland dishes into extraordinary masterpieces. When you need to spice up your dish, try adding poblano or Hungarian wax peppers. If you prefer a sweet crunch, try using cubanelle peppers. Peppers of any kind are a quick and easy way to bring a fresh flavor kick to any dish.
1/2 19 oz. package Italian sausage (hot, sweet, or mild)
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2-3 sweet peppers of your choice (bell, cubanelle)
1 medium white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, optional
1 tsp salt or to taste
3/4 lb. pasta (rigatoni or your favorite shape)
Recipe adapted from Budget Byte
Cook time: 45mins.
1. Add the vegetable oil and sausage links (unsliced) to a large pot and cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and firm enough to slice. It doesn't have to be cooked through at this point.2. While the sausage is cooking, thinly slice the peppers and onions, and mince the garlic. Once the sausage is browned, remove it from the pot and add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Let them cook while you slice the sausage into thin medallions.3. After the peppers and onions have softened, return the sliced sausage to the pot along with the diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and continue to cook over medium heat.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta for about 7 minutes, or just until tender, but still firm. Slightly undercook the pasta as it will continue to cook and soak up liquid once added to the pot with the sausage and peppers.
5. Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it in a colander and then add it to the pot with the sausage and peppers. Stir to combine, place a lid on top, and allow the pasta to cook in the pepper sauce for about 5 more minutes, or until it has absorbed most of the liquid in the pot. Add about a half teaspoon of salt, taste, and add more if needed.
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced crosswise
1 clove garlic, minced
10 hot peppers of your choice
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1tsp. dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf
1. Heat oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add onion, carrot, and garlic, and cook, stirring, until barely tender, about 3 minutes.
4. Add hot peppers, and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes.
5. Add vinegar, salt, oregano, bay leaf, and 2 cups water, and bring to a boil; remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
6. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe adapted from Saveur
Cook time: 20mins.