Can Cheese Combat Climate Change?

The threat of climate change loomed large above Vermont’s 2022 Cheese Summit. I was invited to the event to taste and learn about local cheeses, made by the state’s eclectic roster of producers—and I did so, gladly. But as the weekend wore on, it becam…

The threat of climate change loomed large above Vermont’s 2022 Cheese Summit. I was invited to the event to taste and learn about local cheeses, made by the state’s eclectic roster of producers—and I did so, gladly. But as the weekend wore on, it became increasingly clear that, despite the event’s hyper-local focus, Vermont’s cheese producers are tackling a far bigger question: What will cheesemaking look like in a warming world? According to them, dairy just might be the thing that saves us all.

Thanks to their methane-rich belches, cattle are the largest producers of agricultural greenhouse gasses on the planet. Almost half of the land in the United States is used for livestock, and overgrazing of these areas leads to poor soil quality and decreased biodiversity. Meanwhile, the dairy industry has consolidated, replacing smaller farms and producers with corporate mega-farms. As organizations like Milk With Dignity and projects like Milked: Immigrant Dairy Farmworkers in NY State have documented, these systemic changes combined with falling milk prices have led to increasingly poor, unsafe, and hazardous conditions for farmworkers—especially those facing undocumented status.

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Why a Sustainable-ish Kitchen Is Good Enough For Me

We’ve teamed up with the food waste fighters at Imperfect Foods to share tips for living a more eco-friendly life. Start small with an affordable grocery service (hello, Imperfect Foods) that makes an impact through the food they deliver—like misshapen…

We’ve teamed up with the food waste fighters at Imperfect Foods to share tips for living a more eco-friendly life. Start small with an affordable grocery service (hello, Imperfect Foods) that makes an impact through the food they deliver—like misshapen produce and surplus snacks that would otherwise go unused—then explore more possibilities for building a less wasteful world.


When you stop to think about food waste, pollution, global warming, and all of the other problems the earth is facing—let alone how to tackle them—it can feel, well, daunting to say the least. But something that brings me comfort is understanding how my own sustainable practices can make a difference. That’s not to say that I live a perfectly eco-friendly lifestyle, but over the years I’ve come to accept (and celebrate) when am I trying my best.

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Chef-Approved Recipe Ideas for Approaching Mealtime More Sustainably

We’ve teamed up with Too Good To Go—an app where local grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries sell surprise bags of their surplus or unsold food at a discounted price so it doesn’t go to waste—to share family-friendly cooking inspiration that keeps t…

We’ve teamed up with Too Good To Go—an app where local grocery stores, restaurants and bakeries sell surprise bags of their surplus or unsold food at a discounted price so it doesn't go to waste—to share family-friendly cooking inspiration that keeps the earth in mind. Too Good To Go takes a holistic approach to rescuing food that’s a win-win-win: you get to enjoy items from your favorite local spots, store owners are able to sell their surplus, and our planet is that much greener because of it.


As a restaurant chef and first-time mom, being mindful of waste (from surplus food to single-use packaging) is something that’s always at the forefront of my meal planning. I strive to come up with fun and tasty ways to not only make my cooking eco-friendlier, but to also get the whole family involved, including my two-year-old son, Arlo.

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Fennel Is, Without a Doubt, Our Favorite Spring Herb

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
 

This week we’ve got fronds on the brain—fennel fronds, that is. You can find fresh fennel year round, but it reall…

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
 
This week we’ve got fronds on the brain—fennel fronds, that is. You can find fresh fennel year round, but it really peaks during spring. Once you get your hands on fennel, you’ll probably be taken by the pleasant, anise-like aroma and then immediately think to yourself: “Okay…but what do I do with this?” Because as cool as fennel is to look at, and as lovely as it smells, it’s not the most common herb to cook with. Adding crushed fennel seeds to meatballs? Duh! But roasted fresh fennel wedges as part of a weeknight meal? Can’t say that’s exactly in my repertoire. 
 
So if you want to start cooking with fennel, we’ll go over what to look for when selecting fennel, how to store it, and how to use every part of the plant from bulb to stalk to fronds—and more! Licorice haters fear not, there might be hope for you and fennel after all.
 

What to Look For

First things first: select small to medium-sized white fennel bulbs that are heavy and firm with bright green feathery fronds. Avoid bulbs that are really large, have moist spots, or appear shriveled and dried out. If there are brown spots, leave the fennel on the shelf. Bulbs and stalks should be free of cracks, splits, and any discoloration or bruising.
 
The fennel you buy at the market is also known as bulb fennel, Florence fennel, or finocchio, though due to its similar flavor, it sometimes gets confused with anise. Fact: anise is an entirely different plant, but the two do come together to flavor absinthe. (Think about that the next time you sip one of these.) 
 
As for fennel seeds, you’ll find those with other dried spices. For reference, they’re a little bit bigger than chia seeds but smaller than cardamom pods. You can use them whole or crush them in a mortar and pestle so they’re more powder-like, removing some of the texture while highlighting their pungent earthy flavor.
 

How to Store Fennel

Similar to carrots, if you’re storing fennel in the fridge, you’ll want to separate the stalks from the bulb and store the two parts separately in plastic bags. Because of the delicate nature of the fronds, they tend to go bad more quickly than the bulbs. For a non-plastic-encased option, try storing fennel upright in a cup of water on the counter like a bouquet of flowers. Either way, try to use your fennel within a few days—any more than that, and it starts to lose flavor.
 

Root-to-Stem Dining

Like celery, the entire fennel plant can be consumed—there’s a ton of flavor in every part of it. Here's how to make the most of every last bit.
 

Bulb 

If you’re still craving comfort foods, try roasted fennel on a flatbread, paired with celery in a gratin, or with braised potatoes. To roast fennel, cut the bulbs lengthwise, cut out the core, and slice it as thin or thick as you like. Toss the fennel with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast in a 425℉ over for 25 to 30 minutes. Spring can’t come fast enough? Then use your fennel bulb in a Greek salad or a shaved salad with celery. If you're not a fan of licorice, ease yourself into fennel's charms by roasting it. Pair it with couscous, or blend it into this white bean dip; roasting fennel will bring out its sweetness and soften its flavor.

Stalks

According to The Barbeque! Bible, you can dry fennel stalks in the oven to preserve them. Just remove all fronds, and arrange the stalks in one layer on a baking sheet. Bake them at 200°F for 3 hours, then turn off the heat and let them hang out in the oven overnight to finish drying. Mark Bittman suggests grilling fish on the stalks (keep the fronds attached for this one, or use your just-dried stalks), and they can also be used to make broths, infused oils, or in place of celery in dishes.
 

Fronds

Chop up the fronds and use them like you would other fresh herbs. They're lovely in a pesto, an egg or potato salad, or as a garnish, like on this soup.
 

Seeds

You’re probably familiar with seeing fennel seeds in sausages and stews (those “seeds” are actually fruits, but everyone refers to them as seeds). Aside from using them in crackers or a genius cabbage recipe, their subtle licorice flavor and nuttiness can even serve as a zippy breath freshener!
 

Pollen

It may be a little more elusive, but fennel pollen has some diehard fans. It's been said that “If angels sprinkled a spice from their wings, this would be it.” Sold yet? The pollen can be sprinkled on meat and fish, paired with mushrooms, or even with ice cream. Look for it in specialty stores or online, or if you have fennel in your garden, you can let it go to seed and collect your own: be patient, forgo harvesting the bulbs, and you'll be rewarded with sunny yellow pollen-filled flowers. If you want to be truly wild, go foraging.

There are so many more ways you can use fennel and all of its parts. What's your favorite way to eat it?

This article was updated in April 2022 by our editors, who wanted to show off their love for fennel again.

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Why I Air-Dry My Clothes Even In a Tiny Apartment

One or two days a week, my entryway transforms into a makeshift laundry room. It’s a little inconvenient to maneuver around the drying clothes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I love a romantic stock shot of sheets on a drying line as much …

One or two days a week, my entryway transforms into a makeshift laundry room. It’s a little inconvenient to maneuver around the drying clothes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sure, I love a romantic stock shot of sheets on a drying line as much as the next person, but living in a city apartment, I, like many people, have access to neither a yard nor an old-school, outdoor clothesline.

Ditching the dryer is a worthy goal: After your heating and cooling, your dryer is likely the biggest energy hog in your home. According to the non-profit Green America, air-drying your clothes can reduce the average household’s carbon footprint by 2,400 pounds a year! I always thought the dryer was a necessary evil living in the city until I spotted a shot of an indoor clothesline on a blog, which made me realize I could air-dry just about any clothing indoors—not just my special hand-wash items. Nearly a decade into my air-drying routine, I can tell you the benefits go way beyond the impact on your utility bill.

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7 Low-Effort Ways to Reduce Everyday Food Waste at Home

We’ve teamed up with Blue Apron to keep dinner interesting—and stress-free as can be. Whether you’re a weekday vegetarian or all-around omnivore, Blue Apron’s ever-changing menus have recipes for every palate. Bonus: Every meal kit you receive is desig…

We’ve teamed up with Blue Apron to keep dinner interesting—and stress-free as can be. Whether you’re a weekday vegetarian or all-around omnivore, Blue Apron’s ever-changing menus have recipes for every palate. Bonus: Every meal kit you receive is designed to minimize waste, with only the ingredients you need and packaging that can be reused or recycled.


New Year’s resolutions are notoriously hard to keep. But there’s one resolution (or if you prefer, intention) that might be a bit easier to stick with, since it’ll help you save money and food—all while doing something good for the environment, too: reducing food waste at home.

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Everything You Need to Know About Taro

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: Get to know a tropical tuber you might have been missing out on. Read More >>

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: Get to know a tropical tuber you might have been missing out on.

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Marjoram Is the Most Underrated Herb, Period

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: We’ve been stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, marjoram. Read More >>

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: We've been stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, marjoram.

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Is Vegan Fish the Answer to Sustainable Seafood?

When Netflix’s controversial documentary Seaspiracy premiered in March, essentially touting the claim that all fish is unsafe from an environmental and labor perspective, Google searches for “vegan fish,” more than doubled as people learned they may ne…

When Netflix's controversial documentary Seaspiracy premiered in March, essentially touting the claim that all fish is unsafe from an environmental and labor perspective, Google searches for “vegan fish,” more than doubled as people learned they may need to find a truly sustainable alternative to their favorite seafood.

Plant-based sausage, vegan chicken, and meat-free burgers are no longer so hard to imagine—so much so that many have become everyday staples in home and restaurant kitchens, but vegan seafood is only just starting to catch up.

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How to Reimagine Our Homes (Without Renovating Them)

Simply Living is a new column by Christine Platt, aka the Afrominimalist. Each month, Christine shares her refreshing approach to living with less, with clever tips for decluttering, making eco-friendly swaps, and creating a more mindful living space t…

Simply Living is a new column by Christine Platt, aka the Afrominimalist. Each month, Christine shares her refreshing approach to living with less, with clever tips for decluttering, making eco-friendly swaps, and creating a more mindful living space that's all you.


Without a doubt, the pandemic has forced many of us to utilize our homes in ways beyond what we ever intended. In less than two years, home has become much more than a place of shelter, the occasional flex workspace, and where we gathered with loved ones: it became synonymous with who we are, what we value most, and what we need to ensure that we feel safe and secure.

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