The Penn Environmental Group released an online guide to home cooking, featuring a collection of recipes and tips on how to be more sustainable.
The guide, titled “Love, Earth,” was published on April 19 and is available on the Penn Environmental Group’s Facebook page. The cookbook contains many vegan and vegetarian recipes, as well as some that include meat and seafood. There are also pages dedicated to indoor herb gardening, composting, local farmers’ markets, and multipurpose cooking.
The project's goals are to make home cooking easy and educate students about sustainability, project leader and College sophomore Angela Sun said. The pandemic provided a great opportunity to introduce people to home cooking since so many students are living at home or spending a lot of time in their dorm rooms, she added.
“We wrote this book because we wanted to help people who may be stuck at home in quarantine or maybe find it more difficult to eat out most of the time,” Sun said. “For people who also just want to save time or eat healthier as college students, we offer up these recipes that are tailored for college students.”
Many of the recipes are vegan or vegetarian because following a plant-based diet generally has a lower carbon footprint than diets with more meat, Engineering junior and project leader Ryan Lam said.
“We wanted to make these recipes as personal and accessible as possible, so we’ve chosen recipes that are, ingredient-wise, compatible with one another so you don’t have to sit with a refrigerator full of various ingredients that you'll only end up using once,” Sun said.
Several of the recipes in the book were developed by Penn students and alumni, while others were adapted from the internet.
Some tips in the book include how to purchase locally sourced produce, where to compost on campus, and how to better preserve food.
“It’s about making the most out of your food and improving the sustainability of food as you purchase it and use it up,” Lam said.
The cookbook is tailored to Penn students living on campus, although its contents are available to everyone.
“We would definitely recommend all these recipes to people in the general [Philadelphia] area,” Sun said.
The Penn Environmental Group hopes that by reading the cookbook, people will realize the value of home cooking and take positive steps towards creating healthier, more sustainable eating habits.
“Good food can come from your own hands, and if you find the right kind of recipes, you can create something that is very satisfying," Sun said. "Home cooking gives you a source of personal independence and control over what you put in your body as well as what happens to food that you don’t eat.”