Is Utah up for the challenge?
Estimates place more than 7,000 solar ovens in Utah, but only about 40 percent of them are being used on a semi-regular basis. The rest are setting in boxes next to the large food storage shelves in Utah basements. While solar ovens make a great emergency preparedness tool, there are many Green benefits to it, too.
Sun Ovens International is calling on all Utah residents to take part in the Solar Cooking Challenge from June 25 through July 1. As meals are cooked, people can show off their culinary cuisines via the link on the blog (forthcoming) and enter for a chance to win cool prizes - Sun Ovens, pots, pans, and cookbooks.
The goal is to cook 50,000 meals during the challenge, which is a lofty goal, but achievable through a commitment of Utah residents to open those solar oven boxes and give it a whirl. Some of the solar cooking benefits include:
No Emissions - Since there are no fuels being burned (i.e. propane, charcoal, wood, natural gas), there are no harmful emissions being released into Utah's air. The only thing emanating from the oven will be the smells of cooking food.
No Air Conditioning - When cooking in the conventional oven in the kitchen, the house inevitably begins to heat up as the heat from the even seeps into the kitchen and throughout the house. This means the air conditioning has to turn on and fight against the oven. By cooking outdoors, you eliminate this battle of energy consumers - Oven v. Air Conditioning.
Won't Burn - Solar cooking, at least in a Sun Oven, helps eliminate burnt foods. The sealed box keeps moisture in, while cooking in a conventional oven or on the stove allows the moisture to escape.
If you don't know how to cook in a solar oven, here are three classes that are taking place in Utah:
Friday June 26 10 am
Ogden, UT 84401
Saturday June 27 10 am
7579 S Redwood Road
West Jordan, UT 84084
Saturday June 27 12:00-2:00 PM
Vernon Worthen Park
300 South 400 East
St George UT 84770
These classes are great opportunities to learn about the many benefits of solar cooking, see the oven in action and take advantage of the Solar Cooking Challenge June 25 through July 1.