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Solar Cooking:This week's featured article/2007-06-17

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Revision as of 21:41, June 25, 2007 by Wsiegmund (Talk | contribs)

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Ruth Whitfield demonstrating two aspects of the integrated cooking method

The Integrated cooking method relies on these basic elements:

  1. Solar cookers (using the sun's free energy as a supplement to fuelwood)
  2. Rocket stoves (simple, fuel-efficient wood stoves)
  3. Heat-retention cooking (insulated baskets that allow food to continue to cook after once being heated to boiling)
  4. Water pasteurization indicators (a low-tech thermometer that indicates that water has reached pasteurization temperature)

In the 1990s, Kenya was experiencing deforestation at a rapid rate. The lives of the people became more and more tied to the need for obtaining wood for cooking and water for drinking. Women spent many hours of each day in these activities. However, there was abundant sunshine that could be used for cooking. In 1994, Dr. Wilfred Pimentel of the Rotary Club of Fresno visited all the Rotary Clubs in Kenya seeking ways to help these women who live in abject poverty. To address the issue of deforestation and reliance on fuelwood for cooking, Dr. Pimentel started the first solar cooker project with the Rotary Club of Nairobi East. Solar cooker technology was taught to a group of Kenyans in two days of classes using their pots and food. This was the beginning of the spread of this technology, the addition of "Rocket Stoves" and Water pasteurization indicators followed and became part of the integrated solar cooker program that has now spread to sixteen different sites on five continents.
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