Everyone has that one dish that they love to make the most and if possible you’ll probably cook it every day. We as people have remarkably selfish needs when it comes to something we crave. If you believe it or not, every time you make a food selection, you’re having an impact on the environment. It is not what comes into the kitchen, it is about how it got there and how it leaves. The meal for me is my signature chocolate chip brownies because this is the first dessert that I cook up and my family enjoys. Nearly every occasion that my parents host, I am expected to create this dessert. I remember that my first time making this dessert was when I was basically forced to help in the kitchen if I wanted to turn on the television. Hastily, I chose to make the brownies because it was easy to make. Everyone was telling me that if the brownies were bad I would eat every single one. At that time I did not realize how great my brownies are, but when everyone tasted I was happy with my accomplishment.
Like everyone else I never thought about how much energy I wasted and how could I fix it. In the original brownie recipe, the ingredients are unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, chopped chocolate, sugar, and eggs. The problem with my original recipe is that it is not as sustainable as I thought it was. Some can say that a brownie could never be sustainable because it is a filled with sugar and chocolate. Then those people really don’t know what it means to be sustainable. My definition of sustainability is focusing on meeting the needs of the present without affecting the future. If we are sourcing Caradonna sustainability beliefs, then the environmental concept is not satisfied. Eggs and butter are the is the most environmentally detrimental ingredient in this recipe. According to the CNN article, These are the most climate-damaging foods, butter is the “third most damaging food”. They state the twelve kilos of carbon dioxide is equivalent to one kilo of butter. That is huge. That is like turning on a 42 inch LCD TV continuously for eight years and two months. “Butter is the most climate-damaging of all dairy products because there are several steps involved in producing it that are energy-intensive: “For example, butter production requires separating raw milk into low-fat milk and cream, pasteurizing the cream, cooling the cream, ripening and churning,” Sujatha Bergen told CNN.” Another ingredient that is also environmentally detrimental is an egg. Egg production has increased in the recent years. It can be basically used for the type of meal. One problem that the environment face when we produce eggs is that it promotes negative consequences on the environment, involving the emission of greenhouse gases and/or the pollution of soil and water. Just to name a few environmental categories that the eggs effect are: ozone depletion, climate change, terrestrial acidification, human toxicity and land occupation. Both ingredients will definitely make this brownie great; however is it really the best option?
Even though it seems to be impossible to make something this sweet to a more sustainable meal, it’s really not that hard. In order to make this brownie more sustainable, some substitution will need to include. We will substitute eggs with pure vanilla extract and water. The vanilla extract could help protect a person’s body from cancer making it more sustainable. It can be found in any grocery store and it is cheap. You don’t have to worry if it is GMO because it is pure. Everyone already knows that water is very healthy, so I really should not get into detail what water could do for you. Not forgetting the butter, we will trade it for vegetable oil. They are both cooking ingredients that could to be used to make the other ingredients easier to mix. Butter is the third is the worse production in the world so anything that is behind it is more sustainable. Vegetable oil is also that not expensive; when the class went to Publix, the price of the oil was $2.98. Vegetable oil and vanilla extract can be bought and would last a long time. With quick changes, my brownies could be easier to make and economically.
According to Michael Pollan,“how and what we eat determines to a great extent what we make of the world—and what is to become of it” (11). We have the ability to choose sustainable eating habits to protect the environment. By selecting a more sustainable alternative, the environment avoids abundant carbon emission, people spend less money and is a more healthy connection. We don’t have to give up our whole lifestyle completely; by taking fewer trips to the grocery store or choosing healthier options, a positive correlation between humans and the environment is always possible. For those who care about the taste than health, creating this dish is more sustainable because it’s healthier without jumbling too much substitution that will mess with the final result of the dish.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides.
- Butter paper, and set pan aside. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Add chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes.
- Cool in pan for 30 minutes.
- Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups pure cane granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup organic semi-sweet morsels
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil, and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top, is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
Duckball, et al. “Vegan Brownies Recipe.” Allrecipes, 18 Dec. 2008, www.allrecipes.com/recipe/68436/vegan-brownies/.
“Chocolate-Chip Brownies.” Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart, 12 June 2018, www.marthastewart.com/332865/chocolate-chip-brownies.
“These Are the Most Climate-Damaging Foods.” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 May 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/05/15/world/climate-damaging-foods/index.html.
“The Environmental Footprint of the Egg Industry.” Phys.org – News and Articles on Science and Technology, Phys.org, phys.org/news/2018-04-environmental-footprint-egg-industry.html.
“How Much CO2 Is That?” YouSustain, www.yousustain.com/footprint/howmuchco2?co2=12,000 kg.