An eco-friendly dinner: Part 2

By Jim Roth | Phillips Murrah P.C. | The Journal Record

[ AUGUST 30, 2010 – OKLAHOMA CITY, OK ] – To continue part 2 of this series, it’s finally time to get these hungry folks at my house fed. And guess what? Oklahoma is an amazing place to buy eco-friendly foods.

Buying local is one great way to make sure your meal is “green.” Plus, you support friends and neighbors in the local economy. Not to mention, there is an added benefit of reducing the use of dirty fuels, which would otherwise occur with long-haul transportation from faraway places.

Going to the farmers market is a great way to get fresh foods from local farmers. There are farmers markets all over Oklahoma in towns like Ada, Alva, Chickasha, Enid, Lawton, Miami, Ponca City, and Weatherford, to name a few. Oklahoma City and Tulsa also have a few different farmers markets to choose from. For information, the Oklahoma Sustainability Network has a great listing at www.oksustainability.org.

Also, there are great programs like the Oklahoma Food Cooperative and Slow Food Oklahoma City that connect people with locally produced foods.

When picking out ingredients at these local places, you can also check to make sure that you are getting organic ingredients if you want. Organic simply means that the food is grown naturally and there aren’t any extra pesticides, fertilizers, or weird genes inserted into the food. Using organic ingredients helps reduce the amount of pollution that is put into our soils and groundwater every day.

So, my friends are going to get some amazing fresh salads to start off with, or maybe I’ll give them some fresh spring rolls. That’s the only problem with a local, fresh farmers market: lots of great choices.

And of course, being eco-friendly with your meals is incredibly easy for any friends who are vegetarian or vegan. To help them, you can also grab some fresh vegetables from your own garden and even some edible treats that might naturally grow in your yard. This is another phenomenal way to support eco-friendly eating habits. Even if you don’t have a big backyard or place to grow, there are still other creative alternatives that allow you to grow in your home or apartment.

So, these friends might get some soba noodles, or maybe a delicious tofu scramble to start their meal off, all with homegrown, organic ingredients. Sounds kind of far-fetched, but you will be surprised how flavorful and healthy these options can be.

Naturally, as you prepare these great meals, you might also save any scraps that can be composted. Composting probably seems incredibly odd, but it’s a great way to naturally fertilize the garden by adding important organic materials to the soil. You can also help out local farmers by giving them compost and returning natural materials back to the earth.

All of this is possible by using healthy, locally grown food that is readily available in most every town throughout our state. Create a special night for your dinner guests and prepare them an all-Oklahoma meal. They will love it.

Jim Roth, a former Oklahoma corporation commissioner, is an attorney with Phillips Murrah P.C. in Oklahoma City, where his practice focuses on clean, green energy for Oklahoma.