But not only peels: how to save the climate and health in the kitchen. Interview with Lisa Casali.

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Louise Hay
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Lisa Casali, environmental scientist and curator of a successful blog, she has a theme that is most close to her heart: the sustainability in the kitchen, where the fight against food waste joins that against global warming.

Cooking with scraps it is not only a way to reduce waste and consequently the impact on the environment but also a way to stay healthy.

We asked Lisa Casali to tell us something more.
 



How do you mitigate the effects of global warming in the kitchen?

Scientific data available they give us very clear information: first of all, the type of diet you choose has a particular impact on the environment, for example commensurate with the animal meat on the table.

Choose anutrition based on the use of meat, or a Mediterranean cuisine, omnivorous or a vegetarian or vegan diet, all these diets certainly have a different impact.

Ma a little investigated aspect is how we use kitchen technologies: how pans and pots are used, how they deteriorate sooner than expected, use gas inappropriately, all of this has a huge impact on the environment.
 

And then there are the food scraps

Sure, why using the less noble parts of food would produce 50 percent less waste. This reduction means a lower impact of greenhouse gases and production.
 


You dedicated your latest book to this theme. Do you want to anticipate something?

The book is titled "The great book of peels"and will be released in bookstores on September 17. This is a scientific contribution precisely on the subject of waste because in addition to the benefits for the environment in the fight against climate change and economic changes, there are also enormous health benefits.

There is scientific evidence, in fact, which explain how the peels and all the parts that we usually discard actually have a much higher concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and many other nutrients than the parts we use for practice. Another reason not to throw anything away.
 


Some examples of recipes inspired by this philosophy?

Let's take the celery: the richest part of Vitamin C, polyphenols and fibers is not the stem, but the leaf. Or the pumpkin: people insist on peeling it, with difficulty, but instead it is rich in fiber and antioxidants and it would be enough to use the oven to make it softer.

There are many examples of this: the fennel, il lemon carrot which contains more beta-carotene in the peel.

This book presents many recipes to teach people how not to throw these parts away but rather exploit them in daily recipes, strengthening the environmental and health aspects.
 

Many adopt sustainable attitudes in the kitchen, eat less meat, buy seasonal or more organic but then do not have the constancy to maintain these good practices for a long time and abandon after a while. What do you suggest to these people?

Completely abandon animal products e Going vegan can take a lot of willpower and research shows that two-thirds of those who make this choice return to their original diet within two years.

Sometimes even eating more meat than before! For which my advice is to make a compromise choice, which turns out to be longer-lived than a drastic choice that instead risks being short-lived.
 


And what's your food diet?

Over the years I have also tried plant nutrition, to experience firsthand. At the moment, however, I prefer a low-consumption diet for animals.

At home I chose not to buy any, therefore I only consume meat when I leave the house and I always choose excellence. So if I can, I avoid intensively farmed animals by choosing small local farms instead or I choose animals that have a lower impact on the environment: for example, I limit beef and I prefer farm animals.

As for fish, I avoid over-exploited species such as swordfish, monkfish, eel and others. On this issue, this year I carried out the “I change menu” campaign together with the WWF.
 


And how do you shop? Is sourcing sustainable products simple where you live?

I live in Milan and I try to buy directly from small producers, through the “Beehive that says yes” platform. I have also been active in various solidarity buying groups but now through the Hive platform they supply me with all the products, including meat and fish. And then the local market in our neighborhood.

My advice is to give priority, at least for the products we eat the most, to fresh and untreated ones. An interesting thing in this regard, which we discovered during the writing of the book, is that comparing peel and pulp between conventional and organic production is that there are fewer nutrients in organic products. This is due to the fact that the organic supply chain it is less efficient than the conventional one.
 


So the freshness of the product is the most important thing to take into account when buying?

Freshness is the most important thing. Each day that passes before bringing food to the table drastically decreases the amount of nutrients contained in the product itself.

Then a preferring the fresh product is not only a matter of choosing the best one, but it is also a matter of what's inside from a nutritional point of view.

It would be important, in addition to talking about waste, too think about the time we consume food, so we don't have to feel so happy if we buy an eggplant and after a month in the fridge it's still there. Of course, we have not wasted it but from a nutritional point of view it is no longer worth anything. It is an aspect that is too little talked about.
 


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