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Seven cookbooks for reducing your impact on the planet

Basket full of vegetables

We all know the impact that the global food system has on the environment, but there are small changes we can make for a brighter future. We’ve chosen seven books that showcase ways to ferment, forage, and cook your way to a greener world.

Eat Green: Delicious Flexitarian Recipes for Planet-friendly Eating by Melissa Hemsley

Melissa Hemsley Eat Green BookWhether you’re a full-fledged vegan, dabble in meat-free Mondays, or simply strive to eat a well-balanced diet, the fourth book from our Together for Change star Melissa Hemsley will provide you with over 100 easy and healthy recipes. Ranging from quick midweek dinners and one-pot wonders to helpful advice on batch-cooking, Hemsley’s joyful approach to cooking shines through every page.

To learn more, check out Melissa Hemsley’s Together for Change videos.

More Plants Less Waste: Plant-Based Recipes + Zero Waste Life Hacks with Purpose by Max La Manna

Having racked up more than 1 billion views for his easy-to-follow recipe videos, Max La Manna has played a major role in shaping the way a whole generation of home cooks think about the food chain and its effect on the planet. His first book distills his online work into 80 delicious dishes that challenge us to find more purpose in our daily routine by reducing waste, eating less meat, and making little changes that have a big impact. It’s a fun and informative book that never comes off as preachy.

Silo – The Zero Waste Blueprint: A Food System for the Future by Douglas McMaster

Douglas Mcmaster The Zero Waste Blueprint Book While Douglas McMaster makes it clear that ‘this is not a cookbook’, he’s so eloquent in outlining the changes needed for a sustainable food system that we had to include it on our list. The owner of Silo – a zero-waste restaurant in east London – maps his vision for a natural, closed-loop system that promotes healthy eating, lowers our carbon footprint, and drastically reduces waste. This is a radical and essential addition to every kitchen library.

To learn more, check out Douglas McMaster’s Together for Change videos

The Noma Guide to Fermentation by René Redzepi and David Zilber

Fermentation has become the obsession of many of the world’s top chefs in recent years. René Redzepi kick-started this revolution when he created a fermentation lab at his world-renowned restaurant, Noma. It was in this network of converted shipping containers that Redzepi and David Zilber let their imaginations run far beyond the reaches of kimchi and sauerkraut. The results of their experiments can be found among the pages of this ferment bible, which includes easy instructions for koji, kombuchas, shoyus, and more. It’s time to stock up on jars and clear some shelf space.

Soil to Table by The Land Gardeners and Lulu Cox

Chef and food consultant Lulu Cox has dedicated her career to educating diners on the connection between the places where food is grown and the plates it ends up on. In 2022, she teamed up with healthy soil advocates The Land Gardeners to showcase the complex role that microorganisms and minerals play in our food system. Their book, Soil to Table, fuses holistic gardening tips with seasonal recipes that forge a palpable connection to the earth.

To learn more, check out Lulu Cox’s Together for Change videos.

The Land Gardeners Soil to Table Book

Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods by Sandor Ellix Katz 

Self-described ‘fermentation fetishist’ and activist Sandor Ellix Katz first published this book in 2003, which doubles as a manifesto and how-to manual. The latest version (updated in 2016) includes recipes inspired by Katz’s travels around the world in search of new techniques, flavors, and formulas. If it’s your first time fermenting, it covers the basics brilliantly, while experienced fermenters will love the chance to brew African sorghum beer, make their own feta, and jazz up their salad dressings with pineapple vinegar.

The Zero Waste Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Cooking without Waste by Giovanna Torrico and Amelia Wasiliev

You’ll never look at potato peels, corn husks, or banana skins the same way once you’ve embraced the zero-waste approach covered in this informative cookbook. Divided into chapters that cover vegetables, meat, fish, bread, and dairy, it shows how there’s a zero-waste solution for almost every ingredient. Once you’ve mastered a few recipes, you’ll feel empowered to experiment with your own creations, and you’ll notice how small changes can make a big impact. 


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