GOOD

Eat at Home, Save the World

Cathy Erway talks about why she chose to not eat out. New York has more than 20,000 inspected restaurants and over 3,000 food carts. There's at...

\n


Cathy Erway talks about why she chose to not eat out.
New York has more than 20,000 inspected restaurants and over 3,000 food carts. There's at least 30 McDonald's within city limits and it's the only U.S. city with its own James Beard Best Chef award. Food culture in the city seems to be, in essence, restaurant culture.

Cathy Erway lives in Brooklyn and for two years, she stopped eating food from restaurants, take-out joints, or mobile food carts. She brown-bagged it to work, went Dumpster diving, and threw amateur cook-offs at home. While Michael Pollan claims that nobody cooks anymore, Erway and her friends bucked the cobwedded kitchen trend in one of the epicenters of eating out.

While she's stopped the full-on experiment in not eating out, her fridge is still stocked with foods made in New York: homemade hot sauce from Rooftop Farms, Mama-O's Kimchi, and fruits from the Greenmarket.

Cathy Erway's website is Not Eating Out in New York and her new book, The Art of Eating In, comes out this week. I talked with her from New York.

GOOD: You're dedicated to something that a lot of New Yorkers might find insane. Why did you start eating in?

Cathy Erway: As somebody who grew up in a kitchen where my parents cooked, I missed simple, homemade food. Even if it takes some time out of your schedule, anyone can cook something simple. I was also starting to get disillusioned with the foods I was getting a restaurants. I felt that I could make something a little more satisfying with just a little bit of time and, at the same time, eat healthier and spend more wisely.

G: Isn't that why eating out is so good. Because you don't know how much salt and butter is in something?

CE: I guess. Cheap eats tends to be pretty greasy-pizza, cheap Mexican take-out-and it's not a very healthy diet for someone who is trying to spend less. The best idea is to buy ingredients yourself and cook them yourself.

G: At one point, you went out Dumpster diving with freegans. Why isn't your project called, Not Buying Food in New York?

CE: I think that would be a little extreme for my lifestyle. But I've seen it being done. I know people grow a lot of the their own food. It's definitely a possible to eat only food you freegan foraged or grew yourself-even in the city.

G: Your blog lists a bunch of reasons not to eat out, like the most recent, "Because the Hair In My Food Is Always Mine." What's the biggest reason you choose not to eat out?

CE: The top of my list is being able to choose your ingredients wisely, having a greater consciousness about your food, where it came from, whether that's organic, free-range, or pesticide-free.

G: Eating out continues to be so much a part of New York. Did your social life suffer?

CE: There's were some awkward moments. I'd be like, ‘I can come with you guys but I can only have a coffee.' I allowed myself coffee. But my friends tend to be into home gatherings and potlucks. Going out to eat wasn't an everyday thing. It was exciting to have more people get into home parties.

G: Were you actively trying to convert people?

CE: No, I wasn't trying to convince anyone else to eat at home. I would throw dinner parties. It's fun. There's a different atmosphere than being in a restaurant. You can play whatever music you want. You can cook whatever you want. You can put your feet on the table. You can do whatever you want. You can dance.

G: Everyone should try it.

Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health