According to a 2019 analysis from the Health Effects Institute, over half of the world’s population cooks using solid fuels such as wood or dried animal dung. Solid fuels need a significant amount of effort; someone must cut the wood or prepare the dung (or buy it, at great expense).
Fuels created from living stuff (also known as biofuels) pollute the environment by emitting carbon dioxide and pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, and formaldehyde. Because kitchens are frequently found inside, toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde remain, increasing the risk of acquiring illnesses such as asthma and lung cancer.
In reality, indoor air pollution is responsible for 4.1 percent of all fatalities globally in 2019, with women and children bearing the brunt of the burden and so experience negative health impacts. That’s why designers are thinking about low-energy electric devices that can bring sustainable, healthier cooking to households around the globe.
A possible solution is electric pressure cookers that could bring healthier, more energy-efficient meal prep to people around the globe.
Electric pressure cookers have several appealing safety and environmental characteristics. For example, some devices turn off automatically when they achieve the right temperatures and pressures, carefully controlling how much energy is used to prepare meals.
In addition, the pot may include an air gap between the cooking vessel and the exterior, which provides useful insulation. As a result, these gadgets are quite inexpensive to operate.
Induction stoves are another option; they function by passing a fast alternating electrical current via a coil of wire underneath the surface. In order for the physics to work, induction cooktops require cookware with magnetizable metal in its base such as cast iron or stainless steel (in this case, most aluminum or copper pans won’t work).
This type of appliance now fills high-end kitchens in pricey cities. Electric cooking sounds great in theory — but there’s a major hurdle to execution: Hundreds of millions of people still lack electricity in their homes.
A D.C.-based company called SUNSPOT thinks it has a solution: attaching an induction cooker to a battery and solar energy setup.
The solar setup, which consists of photovoltaic panels, allows the stove to run without any outside power. Today’s solar panels generate more energy than the stove needs, so after the appliance consumes its slice of power, people can use leftover power to charge a phone — or store it in a battery for a rainy day.
However, for now, most countries will likely need time to let these clean cooking ideas simmer. After all, experts say it’s unrealistic (and perhaps impossible) for governments to up and ban gas stoves.
Reference – INVERSE, SUNSPOT, National Geographic, NERL website, Our World in Data