Yes, the headline seems to be a bit random, but trust me, it isn’t 😉 . And there’s a superb recipe at the end you should not miss! So what does connect your food choices and thinking ahead with pancakes?
When you stand in the supermarket, do you ever think about if the content of your trolley or shopping basket has in influence that goes further than the doors of the store or your fridge? You may think of a bigger context when you see the Fairtrade logo on goods like chocolate, coffee or bananas, but it is not just the origin of the goods that can make a difference, it’s the choice of the food itself that can even have an impact on other people’s live.
One topic which often very quickly leads to a heated discussion is the consumption of animal products – i.e. meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. The ‘problem’ with this kind of food is not really the food itself, but more the way how it is produced. And yes, I say ‘prodcued’, since almost every animal product you by in the supermarket does not come frome lovely farms which happy animaly, but from big meat/fish/egg/dairy factories.
Those factories are problematic for two reasons: First in the amount of goods that they produce and second, or rather consequently, in the way the animals are treated there. I guess you have all seen plenty of pictures from animals in those factories, so I will spare you this – and I want to pick on the other aspect anyway.
So why is the amount of food which is produces there a problem? Producing the huge amounts of animal products we consume today needs excessive amounts of recources. As a report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) puts out, 30 per cent of the earth’s entire land surface are now used for raising animals for food. Yes, that’s almost one THIRD. Just think of the amount of crop that could be produced from this to feed humans…
At the same time, livestock is also a huge driving factor of global warming – it even produces more greenhouse gases then transport. One factor in this is – uhm, how can I say that in a gentle manner – farting cows. Inside their stomachs cows produce methane, a gas which is 23 times as warming as CO2, and well, it needs to go somewhere, so – you know the rest. The FAO reports puts out, that 37 percent of all human-induced methane comes from animals beeing raised for food. Of course that does not only include the ’emissions’ of cows, but they are a major factor in this.
And these two aspects are just a few of the consequences that our high consumption of animal proucts has. If you want to read more, PETA has put an detailed description of the waste of natural recources by raising animals for food on its website which gives you a much broader view on the topic than I can give you here.
So how does this affect your everyday life? If you think of the points I have raised above, with putting a big steak, two bottles of milk, some cheese and prawn salad in your shopping basket, you effectivly contribute to global warming. Depending on the amount you buy, maybe even more than with driving to the supermarket.
The solution to this would be to change your diet to a stricly vegan one – but as you can see from my recipes here on the blog, I am not a vegan myself, so I can’t really tell you what to do. But you can, as I do, think about your food choices – and maybe try to reduce your animal product consumption.
I am a strict vegetarian since half a year, and cutting out meat from my diet was relatively easy for me, since I had never been such a huge fan of it, that I couldn’t imagine living without it. Leaving out dairy is much harder for me, although I do eat less cheese and drink less milk – and start to by soya milk and soya yoghurt instead.
So if you want to do someting for the environment, why not try to reduce your consumption of animal products? And don’t worry, it’s not all about eating nothing but salad and dry bread without butter. You can even make vegan pancakes – and I tell you, these were one of the best pancakes I EVER had. So go ahead and try some vegan or vegetarian food – and maybe invite your friends, too?
For the best vegan pancakes you can imagine you need:
- 1/2 cup of wheat flour
- 80ml of soya milk with vanilla flavour
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- a pinch of cinnamon
- a mild vegetable or nut oil
Mix the dough from the flour, soya milk, sugar and baking powder and season with some cinnamon. Leave the dough for 10 minutes in the fridge before start baking the pancakes. Now heat some oil in a pan and place about 4 teaspoons of dough in the middle. Bake the pancake for a couple of minutes, then flip and bake from the other side until done. Serve with some jam, fruits or maple syrup.
Note: Makes 4-5 pancakes (enough for one very hungry student like I was, or for two not-so-hungry or on-a-diet students).