Saturday, March 29, 2008

Why solar cooking

Its healthy- cooking at low temperatures preserves enzymes. Ovens reach a minimum temperature of 225 deg or more. Protozoa and bugs are killed above 170 degrees.

No pollution- You don’t generate carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide from the cooking process. This is a big problem in the third world where people cook with firewood in doors and women and children suffer from high rates of asthma and lung cancer from black carbon (soot.) Which is a pity because the sun is abundant and free down there. And in the third world they wouldn’t need to deforest the planet for firewood.

Can’t burn food- The pots in the Solar Sport Oven doesn’t get hot enough for food to burn. Even with higher temperature ovens like Sun Ovens the temperature is not high enough to burn food. The worst that can happen is that the food will be overdone and taste like mush.

Can’t burn the house- This one is obvious.

You don’t need oil. I have nothing against oil but since food can’t burn you don’t need it in solar cooking. Add oil after your food is cooked, as a highlight just before serving, the same way you would for salad, and preserve the essential acids that are nutritious in most oils.

Tastes good- Solar cooked food has none of the opened amino acids that result for burning or over heating food. Solar cooking allows the natural flavors in food to present themselves. Mixing these flavors provides taste. Its possible to cut back on salt too by using lemon, after cooking, to release more flavors from food.

Doesn’t need gas or electric energy- energy costs money. Solar cooking pays for itself within a year. There is a Tulsi Hybrid solar oven which charges a battery to use electric heat to finish cooking if the sun goes away. But here where the weather is mild I can cook for three or four days and store most foods on the cool counter top. Of course meats and fish need to consumed after cooking or can be stored in a cool dark place for the next meal, but vegetables and beans will stay for a couple of days. Heat in conventional cooking is used to get water hot.

Use less water- reduced washing since being limited to a few pots means you are not getting everything in the kitchen dirty and since the food doesn't burn you don't have stuff to scrub off. And most foods don't need any water unless you are reconstituting energy intensive beans etc.

Recreation time- Because you don’t have to pay attention to the pot since you can’t burn the house down you can go fishing or ride your bike or do your chores. Set you timer and do something else. The sun also acts as a timer so if you are going out place the oven in a spot that will get shade after the needed cooking time has elapsed.

Disadvantages- The normally burned food that is unhealthy for you, but which a lot of people like, BBQ and french sauces, can’t be cooked in a solar oven.

More benefits here

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