With Mothers Day and Graduation season upon us, you may be thinking about entertaining a crowd. You don’t have to spend a lot or make it complicated to create a delicious and environmentally friendly meal your guests will love. Whether you’re throwing a barbecue or hosting a celebration for extended family, a sustainable menu can offer up big flavor and low costs.

Some sustainable eating tips

Celebrate local and in-season

Highlight fresh, in-season, local fare. Ingredients that are in season and local tend to be fresher and more flavorful, and in-season typically means a better price for you, too.  Browse your cookbook collection for recipes using the best of the season and make these ingredients the focus on your meal plan. Visit your co-op for ideas. If you’re planning ahead (good for you!), talk with the co-op staff about what will be fresh and available when your event is happening.  Right now we are featuring local strawberries, they are AMAZING!

We can also point you to local meats, cheese and other local favorites. If seafood is on the menu, our selection from Locals Seafood is the most sustainable product available..

And, be sure to look for the Fair Trade label when choosing party favorites like chocolate, coffee, tea and spices  Fair Trade is a great conversation topic, too! especially since World Fair Trade Day is coming up next week.

Keep an eye on value

To make a great party more expensive doesn’t mean better. There’s no need to blow your budget—even when serving a sustainable menu. To save:

  • Rely on inexpensive staples like grains and beans.
  • Buy in bulk for best economy.
  • Check out your co-op’s sales flyer and coupons for upcoming specials that you can incorporate into your plans.

Waste not

Aim for zero waste:

  • Cook the right amount of food. If you overdo, arrange for guests to bring home leftovers.
  • Choose reusable plates, linens, and utensils. If you don’t own enough dinnerware to go around, consider borrowing a set from a friend. Or if you go with disposable dinnerware, choose biodegradable products.
  • Provide clearly-marked recycling and compost bins for guests.
  • Use live plants or food (like a parade of baby squash or a wooden bowl of green apples) for the table decor.
  • Print your invites on recycled paper, or, better yet, send e-vites.

Read about earth-friendly celebrations. What’s your favorite sustainable party menu?



Reposted by permission from StrongerTogether.coop. Find articles about your food and where it comes from, recipes and a whole lot more at www.strongertogether.coop.