How a Haitian Village Cooks With Sunlight

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This sustainable initiative is helping to save Haiti’s forests.Haiti has a significant deforestation problem, driven in part by the widespread usage of charcoal for cooking in Haitian households.This practice is doubly problematic as it also raises health concerns for Haitians who burn charcoal in their homes.

image/text credit: Vox 

One initiative, spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy, is tackling this problem through the introduction of solar ovens.These ovens cook food with reflected sunlight, reducing the burden of deforestation in a sustainable way.

A solar cooker lets the UV light rays in and then converts them to longer infrared light rays that cannot escape.Infrared radiation has the right energy to make the water, fat and protein molecules in food vibrate vigorously and heat up.

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It is not the sun’s heat that cooks the food, nor is it the outside ambient temperature, though this can somewhat affect the rate or time required to cook, but rather it is the suns rays that are converted to heat energy that cook the food; and this heat energy is then retained by the pot and the food by the means of a covering or lid.

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