We eat food to provide our own bodies with energy. But an enormous amount of energy often goes into getting that food to our plate. That’s because it consumes energy to prepare, preserve, package and transport food. One of the simplest and best things to do is to not waste the food that you purchase. One study from the American Chemical Society found that the United States could save up to 350 million barrels of oil merely by not wasting food.
Other significant ways to reduce your energy consumption have to do with the foods you choose to purchase. Because a lot of energy goes into transporting food long distances, buying foods grown and produced locally will help minimize that energy consumption. A lot of energy also goes into the process of manufacturing chemical fertilizers and pesticides. So, buying organic food grown without such things also helps reduce energy consumption.
Remember that this doesn’t only apply to the produce aisle. Consider that animals consume much of the grains that are treated with manufactured pesticides and fertilizers. Raising animals takes a good deal of energy, so cutting meat out of your diet can help reduce the energy you use, too. Compared to meat eaters, vegetarians save 160 gallons of oil per year, and vegans save 250 gallons.