We have a friend here in Xico, a Mexican. I say Mexican for my USA readers who might not realize just how aware of environmental issues a lot of people here are. Anyway, he's a really smart guy who has worked in the area of tourism, natural resources and environmental stuff for a lot of years. His current gig is pushing solar ovens to lessen deforestation of our gorgeous, naturally tree-filled bosque de nieblas which suffers mightily from this.
But I have been thinking. Environmentalists, Mexican and USAers and others, tend to think maybe TOO naturally. And tend to want to have people who are less well-off go for more "natural" solutions than they might be interested in. I think some people (rich earth lovers, say) might use solar ovens, but I don't know why we should expect less well-off people to. Just makes life harder again. Solar ovens don't do what a modern stove does, or what a wood fire does. (I can hear our friend arguing with me.) They are limited by what they can cook, how they can cook it, and the weather. Especially here, the weather.
So I'm wondering. Why can't we, in the name of sustainable development, promote the use of GOOD,energy-efficient technology that also makes people's lives easier instead of harder? Many people in our area, including in our rural areas, have electricity. There are very energy efficient slow cookers and microwave ovens which do NOT need a stove top at all, and then, for those who have stove tops, there are pressure cookers. These all use less energy than a gas stove top which uses more than an electric one. As I understand it, wood costs about the same amount as gas for cooking. So any of these appliances I've mentioned would be useful in developing a sustainable economy and cutting back on deforestation.
If anyone knows of any organization that would be willing to fund the use of such cooking technology, please let me know!