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Quick, Healthy Family Dinners that Help Save the Planet

Chef, author (and mom) Aviva Goldfarb knows first hand what can happen at 6 PM on any given night in a busy family: chaos. Luckily, she's been helping families convert that chaos (hungry kids, tired parents, no dinner!) into a more organized, pleasant, and healthy mealtime. When we stare blankly at the fridge, hoping for a miracle, Goldfarb delivers with her online meal planning service, the Six O'Clock Scramble. The Scramble's mission is music to my ears: to help busy parents make healthy meals in a hurry by helping them plan ahead for a week of meals. What's not to love?

The Scramble goes earth-friendly
This month, Goldfarb added a new cookbook to the mix: SOS! The Six O'Clock Scramble to the Rescue: Earth-Friendly, Kid-Pleasing Dinners for Busy Families. Which is great news because after getting food on the table and trying my darndest to make it healthy, it often feels like there's no chance to factor the planet in there, too!

But there is.

Thanks to Goldfarb's new cookbook, which infuses earth-friendliness right into the Scramble planning. The recipes are organized by season to help you choose seasonal produce (without thinking too hard about it). She highlights EWG's Shoppers' Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which helps people buy organic on a budget by listing the fruits and veggies with the highest and lowest pesticide residues - also known as "The Dirty Dozen" and "The Clean 15."

The book is also peppered with helpful tips on incorporating green habits into the family routine, from reusable shopping bags to simple food scrap composting.

Dig in - it's Earth Week!
Since Earth Day is tomorrow, why not program healthy, earth-friendly eating into your lifestyle today? You can easily start with small steps.

Here are Goldfarb's 7 tips you can use right now to make a sustainable difference:

  1. Start Composting
  2. Cut out meat for at least one meal per week
  3. Bring reusable shopping bags to the grocery store each time you shop
  4. Vow to pack trash-free lunches with reusable containers, and even cloth napkins
  5. Shop local - with weekly trips to your local farm markets or even participation in a CSA
  6. Eat seasonally - the taste is better and the reduced distance travelled makes a big impact on the environment
  7. Plan and organize your meals to make only one trip to the store per week - you'll conserve gas and reduce food waste

Want to unscramble dinnertime at your house?
Goldfarb has a blog (the Scramblog, natch!), is on Twitter (@theScramble), and of course you can grab a copy of her new cookbook.

Check out this great interview with the author on Planet Green, who named her a Change Maker - with good reason.


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