Monday, February 4, 2013

Solar Cookers Easily Prepare Traditional Foods in Eastern Chad

Check out this video created by my friend & colleague, Patricia McArdle!  Pat & I worked together evaluating a solar cooking project in the Touloum Refugee Camp in Eastern Chad in 2009, and were able to see first hand how well solar cookers are able to prepare local, indigenous foods in rural and developing areas.


The Touloum Refugee Camp is a great example of the potential success of solar cookers in remote areas. Unfortunately, solar cooking has been difficult to introduce in many rural areas due to the strong association of established cooking methods with culture, tradition and history. In every culture, cooking is rooted firmly in our conventions, & it's not surprising that it is one of the most difficult practices to change. The cold hard truth of the matter, though, is that traditional methods of cooking in places like rural Africa requires a lot of wood... & wood is something Africa is quickly running out of. The refugee camp above embraced solar cooking because they simply didn't have enough wood to sustain themselves. I hope we won't have to wait for the planet to be depleted of firewood before people realize the powerful effectiveness, simplicity & affordability of solar cooking.

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 *Pat McArdle lives in Arlington, VA & has been solar cooking for many years. She is one of the country's leading experts in solar cooking and works hard to educate others about the ease & effectiveness of cooking with all different kinds of solar cookers. She has written a book, Farishta, about her experiences solar cooking in Afghanistan, which is available on Amazon. See her website for more information: