Hazel cooks by sunshine
By SANDRA SINGH Wednesday, April 23 2008
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CHEF HAZEL: Coordinator of the Women's NGO Network of Trinidad and Tobago Hazel Brown demonstrates a solar cooker by cooking a meal of curried chicken...
FOOD prices have skyrocketed over the past few months with citizens also being forced to reckon with the impending hike in electricity rates. However, consumers will soon be able to conserve energy and save some dollars as solar cookers emerge as the cheaper, easier and more eco-friendly alternative to gas and electrical cookers.
The Women’s NGO Network of Trinidad and Tobago yesterday joined with millions of people worldwide in celebration of World Earth Day by promoting and demonstrating the use of solar cookers.
Coordinator of the organisation Hazel Brown told Newsday the group received permission to use the patent of the South African model cooker and were therefore trying to start the process for community groups to manufacture the cookers for sale.
When produced, these cookers can sell for less than $100, according to Brown. She explained that the cookers were made out of recycled material and therefore was in keeping with the aim of being eco-friendly.
Questioned on the benefits of using solar cookers, Brown stated that apart from saving time and having tastier food, the cookers would allow for a more cost effective means of cooking as it saves energy which can be used to do other activities or when there is no sunlight.
Brown explained that the cookers operate with the “greenhouse principle” with the cooker using rays of the sun for the heating of the solar box. Meals such as curried chicken take as long as two hours to cook.
Two solar cookers were on display yesterday with chicken, black eyed peas, ochro rice and pumpkin being cooked. Commenting on the issues of high food prices, Brown said that the impact of high food prices can be cushioned if consumers spend their money wisely and make better choices.
She said that although food prices have increased people were not buying any less. “Anyone who goes shopping without a list should not be complaining of high prices,” Brown said. She also said people should demand value for money by ensuring quality and standard of products are acceptable.