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GAS OR ELECTRIC—Which Is A Greener Method Of Cooking?

The growing awareness of environmental preservation has inspired the need to seek better methods and more energy-efficient processes for our daily lives. This is a movement which has long since been encapsulated by the color green.

With the inevitability of food consumption, it becomes even more important to consider and promote environmentally-friendly means of preparing it. In a world of options, it is sometimes hard to weigh our possibilities and decide which cooking method is more eco-sensitive.

Your selection of cookware and cooking methods can affect how much energy you save—which can contribute more than you know to the preservation of the environment.

Both gas and electrically powered cooking equipment are widely considered to be fairly eco-friendly. Gas appliances are a lot less expensive to buy and to use than electrical appliances since natural gas is generally cheaper to obtain.

Still, a lot of precautions must be taken while using gas appliances due to latent risks such as explosions and air pollution. The most effective method of cooking would be one that delivers with less energy input. So we will need to look beyond the kitchen to how each of these energies are sourced.

Man standing among gas pipe lines

How are they sourced

Natural gas travels via many channels before it ends up burning through the gas cooker. Its extraction and transportation processes may be beset with a few different environmental concerns, but it is hailed as the greenest fossil fuel, as its combustion releases the lowest amount of carbon dioxide compared to other fossil fuels. 

Some claim that the methane leakage that occurs during the drilling, extraction and transportation of natural gas poses a greater heat-trapping concern than carbon dioxide itself. However, no one can deny that the combustion of natural gas produces far less mercury, sulfur and particulates (which have been linked to breathing problems such as asthma, bronchitis and lung cancer, several forms of heart disease, water pollution, and contamination of wildlife) than other fossil fuels. 

Electricity also goes through an extensive process before getting to our homes. The major concern in the generation process of electricity would be if coal is used. Hydro, solar, wind and other renewable energy sources are much better alternatives to coal-generated electricity. Still, can we say that electric cookers are more eco-friendly or energy-efficient?

Based on heat efficiency, gas cookers are more effective than electric cookers as electrical cooking equipment require more energy for heat to be distributed to every corner of the kitchen utensil placed directly on them. Thus, the process that produces the required heat expends more units of fuel in exchange for a unit of electricity.

In electric appliances, electrical energy gotten from the electrical resistance of these appliances is converted to thermal or heat energy. But while more energy is needed for an electric cooker, the energy generated by the electric cooker has a higher percentage of transmission directly to the food than that of a gas cooker where less of the energy generated actually gets in contact with the food.

Woman cooking on a stove top

The preferred choice

Other factors still play a role as to the amount of energy used including the method of preparation, the size of the food being prepared and the size of the cooker or griller as the case may be. Fascinatingly, cooks generally favor the use of natural gas in powering their equipment as it allows them greater freedom in controlling the temperatures and the quality of the flame.

Bearing all of this in mind, if you have been contemplating a green method of cooking, you would do well to consider cooking gas for its flexibility and energy efficiency.

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