This year, I want to share with you the idea of how to enjoy foods with each other and family in a more sustainable (yes, green) manner, so that all of us can benefit from the bounty of our planet Earth.
This made me wonder about what to include for a breakfast setting or brunch.
It is hard to imagine any breakfast without eggs, and though I am a vegetarian I try to not use these because of the awful living conditions I see around me where we live: the stalls are huge, often in the bright sun without the benefit of shade, illuminated late at night and during the winter to make the chickens think about laying their eggs.
Additionally, research is finding that chickens which live near a highly toxic area, such as an electronic dumping site for European electronic products in Ghana, will lay eggs with substances that people should not ingest. For more information on this instance, you can read this 25 April 2019 article, written by Mauro Anastasio and published by European Environmental Bureau, a nonprofit with an excellent writers and solid background:
Chickens and Their Organic Eggs
So, if you do use eggs, please buy the ones where the chickens are afforded more space and better foods; that does not necessarily mean that you have to buy the most expensive ones! The way in which you spend your money at the grocery store can have a much larger impact than you realize. Use your wallet to dictate better conditions for chickens, good for you.
And did you know that the grocery story concept of ‘organic eggs’ includes, at the minimum, the fact that the chickens were not fed anti-biotics, hormones or vaccines. In turn, this means you and your body won’t be receiving this inadvertently in your foods. And all this helps to reduce your exposure to pesticides, another positive benefit to buying organic.
Then the question about whether to purchase cage-free eggs: are the chickens that lay these eggs better off in their living environment? Honestly, most every other kind of eggs will produce better living conditions for chickens than purchasing the caged eggs.
The reasons for this are:
- the chickens food is limited to what they are given because they are caged, stacked often high on top of one another, and
- the awful circumstances of having to deal with each other in an area the size of your own body 24-7.
In other words, nutrients that chickens derive from scratching the dirt are missing, including lower levels of vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids.
One other thing you can do is to avoid the use of eggs altogether.
In the featured image, there are alternatives to eggs: for instance, you can use 1 tablespoon of chia or flax seeds which have been soaked in 3 tablespoons of hot water to create a more gelatinous substance for cooking. In the photograph, the other half of the puffs included a passion fruit and vegan cream cheese filling.
Another alternative is to increase your use of oil and baking soda: 1 and a half tablespoons of oil, 1 and a half tablespoon of water, combined with 1 teaspoon of baking soda (not baking powder!) to make your pancakes fluffy and stackable. I would increase your use of fruit or jams, as the metallic taste may be more noticeable.
Other suggestions are to use applesauce or a mashed banana half when you want to bake. Especially for pound cakes, these substitutions sometimes produce a much better product, with better taste experience. Experimenting with these different types of products remains fun for the rest of your family members to taste your inventions.
Most of all: remember to enjoy each other’s company! There is nothing like a family gathering… (even using a video medium)