Kitchen Reading: Wildly Affordable Organic

With Wildly Affordable Organic, author Linda Watson communicates that organic/sustainable isn’t necessarily synonymous with expensive when it comes to food. As the subtitle puts it: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet. Hard to argue with that.

WAO carves out a neat niche in the crowded cookbook world. That’s partly because it is a smorgasbord: Part manifesto, part food-purchasing guide, part cookbook, part dispenser of kitchen savvy. I’m guessing anyone can find one, if not more, useful feature to the book.

On the topic of food waste prevention, WAO hits a few high notes. There’s a nice section in praise of the freezer. In it, Watson advocates freezing just about everything, including “Planned-Overs” (not Leftovers). But, she warns:

Don’t freeze things that the store can store for you, unless you’ve got the room and it’s a big sale. Do you need ten pounds of frozen peas?

In one especially helpful passage, Watson lists some items that don’t freeze well: raw potatoes, leafy greens, watery vegetables like cucumbers, cream, sour cream, mayo, or cream cheese.

As one would expect from a cookbook aimed at saving money, WAO takes a sensible approach to food waste: it’s a costly habit. “You bought it, so cook it,” Watson advises. She recommends paying attention what we toss, so as to avoid repeating those mistakes.

Finally, in a segment mostly about composting, Watson rips off a refrain I’d love to see become a mantra: “Strive to waste less, not recycle more.” Amen.

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