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  • Writer's pictureThe Climate Coach

I'm changing what I eat, but what about how I cook it?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

So you've made some changes to your diet for climate, eating more plants and less animal based products. Maybe you've even reduced the amount of air freighted fresh food you buy. But does how you cook your food also matter?

Firstly, it's already great if you have made any of the changes mentioned above. Secondly, the impact of how you cook your food is an interesting challenge to explore.

I've talked before about moving to a more plant based diet to support climate and I'm still firmly of the view this is the "easiest" thing you can do which has the biggest impact.

However, if you are cooking all of your food (whatever it is) in a gas oven or on a BBQ for several hours every day, then you could well be using a huge amount of energy and creating emissions through that cooking process. Even a humble potato, which is generally a very low emission vegetable, can become a high emission food when cooked in a gas oven on its own for a couple of hours. This of course assumes all the emissions from the gas used to heat the oven are attributed to the potato.

My oven is electric, is that OK then?

Well it's probably the best you can do for now. Cooking is a great candidate for electrification. Electric versions of hobs, cookers and ovens are readily available and usually for the same price. Some will say, "But there are still emissions from generating the electricity you use to power those electric versions" and they are indeed correct. However, the response is simple: electric is always better than gas here, because a decent chunk of the electricity supply is already renewable and it's only going to increase over time. This means the more you electrify, the lower your emissions will be. Even if it's not renewable at all right now, electricity gives it the option to be in future, versus gas which will always create emissions whatever you do!

Summarise please....

Use renewable electricity to cook your food, and if you can't do that just now - minimise the energy you use to cook where possible.

If you have any thoughts, feedback or ideas you wish to contribute on this or any other topic covered by The Climate Coach - please get in touch, we'd love to hear from you.

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