5 No-Cook Recipes For Energy Awareness Month

Energy is always there when we need it, so it's easy to forget where it comes from or how much it costs. Since October is National Energy Awareness Month, it's important to stop and pay attention, and especially to make a difference.

Click here for the 5 No-Cook Recipes for Energy Awareness Month (Slideshow)

Did you know we've been doubling our energy consumption in America every 20 years? Coal, oil, and gas aren't infinite resources, nor is their price insignificant. The risks in extracting these resources and the emissions created from their use in generating energy are not negligible. When we "waste" energy we waste money, and we unnecessarily pollute our environment.

At Whole Foods Market, one of our core values is advancing environmental stewardship, so we've had to innovate when it comes to energy use since grocery stores are typically the highest energy users of all commercial building occupants. But we can make a difference!

Here are some easy things we all can do to reduce our energy consumption when it comes to food, including delicious no-cook (aka zero-energy!) recipes in celebration of Energy Awareness Month.

  • Be a friend to your fridge: Make sure the door seals are clean, free of food residue, and sealed tightly. If a dollar bill slips out easily, it's too loose and time to call a pro for a tuneup. Keep the coils clean and free of dust, and make sure the temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Try a toaster oven!: Only cooking one or two chicken breasts, or baking a couple of potatoes? Small items like that can fit in the toaster oven, which uses significantly less energy than heating a full-size oven.
  • Stock up: Refrigerators and freezers run best when cool foods and drinks help absorb warm air. If you're between grocery trips, try storing big jugs of water in the fridge to lower energy use (and electric bills).
  • Mind the "food miles": The fewer miles your food has to travel to your plate, the less oil, gas, and other resources are used to get it there. So visit a local farmers' market or grocery store with nearby items, or even plant a garden to grow your own!
  • Don't cook: Well, don't turn on a stove or a microwave or an oven, anyway. These simple, fresh and fun no-cook recipes are a tasty way to be mindful of energy this month.

—     Kathy Loftus, global leader of sustainable facilities for Whole Foods Market