New Perspectives: Green Cooking Habits

source image courtesy of Indiana Public Media

Many do not realize the impact cooking can have on the environment. Food is transported over thousands of miles, energy is used to prepare meals, and huge quantities of food are wasted.
Here are a few tips for mitigating your contribution to these issues:

1. Buy Local – The first habit we should develop is to purchase locally produced food. This not only supports your local farmers and economy but it also helps to reduce emissions caused by transportation. Instead of hitting the grocery store, why not hit  farm stands or farmer’s markets for locally grown produce. There are many places you can also buy meat and eggs that have been locally sourced. They are often fresher and better tasting since they have not had to be transported over thousands of miles.

2. Cook Seasonally – Another aspect of going green is to cook seasonally. Why not cook meals using in-season, local foods. Seasonal food tastes better and is also be more affordable. Use Pinterest to find new recipes and you might even find new foods to love.

3. Work With the Weather – Last but not least,  keep the weather in mind. From the heat of the summer to the chill of the winter there is a lot of variation that we often ignore in our cooking. One idea is to focus on fresh salads and cold dishes for summer and keep the oven off. That will help reduce the energy you use and the amount your air conditioner or fans have to work. In the winter, you can open the oven once it has been turned off and release the heat into your home instead of venting it outside (Please be careful when doing this that the oven is not still on - particularly if you have a gas oven). This can potentially help keep your home warm without straining your heater.

Cooking with the environment in mind does not have to be inconvenient or difficult. It takes only a few small changes in your cooking habits to make a big difference.

Author: This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12@gmail.com.