The video, Solar Oven Cooking, defines Louise Meyer as the global crusader of solar cooking. For those unfamiliar – meaning the rest of the world – solar cooking is a simple, safe, and convenient way to cook without consuming fuel.
By using the sun to cook food, it can help reduce the burden on more than 3 billion people who must walk for miles to collect wood or spend their meager income on fuel. Solar cookers can bake, braise, stew and fry food by using three cookers: parabolic, box, and panel.
Meyer is the training director for Solar Household Energy, Inc. (S.H.E.), a non-profit organization that seeks to harness free enterprise to introduce solar cooking where it can improve the quality of life and reduce stress on the environment. Though it’s been around for 20-30 years, solar cooking isn’t exactly popular in the world today.
It has a bad reputation, Meyer said, due to projects that aren’t investing time and money in the training element. The technology, she continued, has been given to people with the belief that they know how to use it. But there are trainers around the world like Mexico, where Norma Suarez and Obdulia Cunia go from door to door and home to home in their community to give advice and workshops to people about using solar ovens.
“Part of our introductory program is to set up a demonstration in a village and set up maybe 5-10 pots. And in each pot, you’re cooking something different, and visuals to show people, ‘What is it? How is this working?’ They see food cooking and water boiling (e.g. vegetables being cooked, and bread being baked).”
S.H.E.’s long-term goal is to get entrepreneurs to look at solar cooking as a business opportunity. But with gas being expensive, along with the health and financial implications, that’s going to be a problem.
“We have quotes from people that say, ‘I can no longer afford fuel’, ‘I can’t cook anymore’, ‘I’m going to have eat avocados and bread’.” Meyer said.
Though “not there yet,” Meyer still believes that solar cooking is “a lucrative business to get into,” because modern solar cooking ovens S.H.E’s “HotPot” offer practical, affordable, and long-term relief.