This website started with a clear, ethical goal – to promote vegan food with recipes that are delicious and easy to make. The ethical and environmental benefits of vegan food are extensive, and this remains the core issue being addressed. However, the food we eat is connected with a much wider range of important issues.
So where does a recipe website fit in to all this?
Vegan Recipe Bowl is growing in size and visitor numbers, which means the potential to share information that reduces environmental impact is growing too. A well designed recipe can deliver ethical, environmental and sustainability benefits every time it is cooked.
To do this means setting targets that will ensure they’re delivered consistently:
Reducing food waste
- Each recipe’s finished quantity will be well defined
- Recipes should include clear storage instructions and advice on how long they’ll keep for
- Clear reheating instructions where applicable
- Smaller size, readily adjustable recipes are better than large ones because they’ll encourage readers to actively consider the quantity being cooked.
- Try to use whole standard size packets of ingredients to reduce awkward left overs.
Reducing packaging use
It’s hard to know how reader’s products will come packaged. However, offering alternatives where possible helps readers make their own choices. For example, all recipes using beans and pulses will provide the amount needed either from a can or from dried – allowing the option to avoid resource-intensive metal cans.
- Where possible recommend using lids on saucepans during cooking.
- Give advice on how to pressure cook suitable recipes. Pressure cookers greatly reduce time and fuel use.
- Suggest using a microwave where possible. Microwaving is often the most fuel efficient and quickest option for warming, melting and re-heating.
A well designed recipe should reduce the amount of utensils, bowls and pots needed, resulting in less to wash at the end. Good news for cooks and water use.
- Recommend steaming over boiling. This uses less water and also tend to produce a better texture and flavour for many vegetables.
- Advise how much water to use for steaming and boiling. This also saves time and fuel as it requires less water to be heated.
Reducing palm oil
Palm oil is a tough one. Certain recipes need the properties of margarine – most of which contain some amount of palm oil. To limit the impact of this, palm oil will only be used when an alternative is not possible. My cake recipes normally use light flavour olive oil, not margarine. Palm oil free recipes will also be clearly tagged for easy browsing.