Pastured bone broth: I finally found a shelf-stable brand that is made from grass-fed cows! If you don't have time to spend hours making your own bone broth, Kettle & Fire makes a game-changing broth from organic bones, slow-cooked to draw out the nutrients and collagen hidden deep inside.  Get it HERE.

This tasty Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen (with shirataki noodles) comes together with minimal hands-on time thanks to slow-cooker magic. :) | Fresh Planet Flavor

Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen (with shirataki noodles) | Fresh Planet Flavor

In keeping with the international flavor mash-up that is today's post, I am sharing the conclusions of some personal preliminary research on whether eating local food is more environmentally-friendly. Perhaps your first thought is "of course". Doesn't food grown close to home help prevent global warming because it requires less fossil fuel to transport? But… after reading an article on the topic of whether locally-produced food is more environmentally friendly in the journal Environmental and Resource Economics, I now know it is a more nuanced issue than I previously suspected. 

Growth of Farmers Markets | Fresh Planet FlavorThe authors state in the abstract: We concentrate on the tradeoff between production and transport emissions reductions by testing the following hypothesis: Substitution of domestic for imported food will reduce the direct and indirect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions associated with consumption. We focus on ruminant livestock since it has the highest emissions intensity across food sectors... While shifting consumption patterns in wealthy countries from imported to domestic livestock products reduces GHG emissions associated with international trade and transport activity, we find that these transport emissions reductions are swamped by changes in global emissions due to differences in GHG emissions intensities of production.

. . .Which means that the environmental benefit of eating food produced locally is outweighed by the environmental cost of said local production (if I am reading the research correctly). Why? Because producing food "intensively" (on a mass scale, in a location that enjoys advantages of climate and other environmental factors, with the addition of specialized technology, etc.) may, at least in some dimensions, be more environmentally-friendly than areas with less intensified production (because greater intensity often means more efficient).

Food: is economic efficiency aligned with eco-friendliness? In some cases, yes. Click To Tweet

For further reading on this topic, access the following articles:

Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen (with shirataki noodles) | Fresh Planet Flavor

Perhaps as much as we would hope that buying local food is the most environmentally-friendly option, in some cases, it isn't. Let's be clear, locally-produced food provides many benefits aside from fewer food miles. In addition to probable advantages of freshness , local food production can:

  • Anchor communities and beautify blighted areas
  • Be an educational resource
  • Solve an important problem of access for disadvantaged populations
  • Support the local economy
  • Be more likely to avoid the misuse of chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, hormones or other substances that endanger the environment and human health
  • Bolster insect diversity, enrich soil, and create border areas for wildlife
  • Be tastier (since industrial food is bred to withstand long-distance shipping and mechanical harvesting) 

This Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen recipe honors our global food system with its internationally-inspired flavors. It is also a wonderful thing to prep on Sunday night and enjoy throughout the week... just hold off on cooking the mushrooms and heating the noodles until the night you'll enjoy it. 🙂 Add the toppings fresh each time, too!  

Slow-Cooker Spiced Pork Ramen

Preparation 20 mins 2017-10-17T00:20:00+00:00
Cook Time 8 hours 2017-10-17T08:00:00+00:00
Serves 4     adjust servings

Ingredients

Slow Cooker

  • 2-3 lbs pork shoulder roast (or butt)
  • 4 cups broth, plus more of needed
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp thai red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger juice
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chili paste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 whole star anise

Skillet

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

For Serving

  • 1 lb sliced button mushrooms
  • 2 packs shirataki noodles, drained
  • 4 soft-boiled or fried eggs
  • Sliced jalapeño or fresno peppers, chili flakes, cilantro, green onions

Instructions

  1. Place the pork in a slow cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients for the slow cooker, and cook on high for 8 hours.
  2. Turn off the heat, and remove the pork form the slow cooker. Shred the pork with two forks or your tools of choice, then place a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Place the shredded pork in the skillet and add all of the skillet ingredients. Toss to combine, then cook, stirring/turning frequently, until brown and crispy and all of the liquid has cooked away.
  4. Place the broth in the freezer while you crisp the pork. The goal is to cool the liquid enough so that the fat can be skimmed off. When the fat has been removed, heat the broth in a medium soup pot. Add the sliced mushrooms, and the drained shirataki noodles. Bring to a boil, then ladle into serving bowls and top with the crispy spiced pork, eggs, peppers, chili flakes, cilantro and green onions.

by

6 reviews
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 1402kcal Calories from fat 474
% Daily Value
Total Fat 53g 82%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Transfat 0g
Cholesterol 467mg 156%
Sodium 1349mg 56%
Carbohydrate 148g 49%
Dietary Fiber 10g 40%
Sugars 20g
Protein 83g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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