• Think "environment" when making purchasing decisions.
  • Choose fresh foods grown locally whenever possible.
  • Minimize the number of times you drive to the store by making a list of what you need during the week.
  • Match the burner and the pan size to the quantity of food to be cooked.
  • The flame on a gas stove should be blue; a yellow flame indicates that there is not enough air for energy efficient combustion.
  • Consider purchasing a gas oven with an electric ignition the next time you go shopping for a new stove.
  • Use the self-cleaning feature on an oven right after baking or broiling to use the heat already built-up in the oven.
  • Avoid ceramic top electric resistance ranges; they are generally less energy efficient than ranges with the resistance elements exposed.
  • Pre-heat an oven for only 5-8 minutes.
  • Open the oven door while cooking as few times as possible. The air temperature drops 25-50°F every time the door is opened.
  • Defrost foods in the refrigerator before you begin to prepare them. Frozen foods need more energy to cook than completely thawed foods. A defrosted roast requires 33% less cooking time than one that is still frozen.
  • Use as little liquid as possible when cooking to conserve both energy and nutrients.
  • Save the juices that cook out of foods and use them to make soups. Food juices frequently contain a great deal of the nutrients that were originally in the food when it was fresh.
  • Cut foods into small pieces to decrease cooking time.
  • Maximize surface area to heat source, minimize depth and cook for as short a time as possible to conserve food nutrients. The greatest losses of vitamin C and thiamin take place when food is kept hot.
  • When shopping for kitchen appliances, look for and compare the energy efficient ratings on the EnergyGuide stickers. Energy efficient appliances save money, on a long term basis, because the electric bill for operating the appliance is less.

from Managing The Energy Cost of Food by H. J. Whiffen and L. B. Bobroff, University of Florida, May 1993

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