Our environment can have as much impact on our health as food and water. Smoking three to four packs of cigarettes a day can totally negate the healthful benefits of a steady diet consisting of organic vegetables, meats, fish, grains and dairy products. There are not enough vitamins, minerals, proteins or carbohydrates in the world to offset the harmful effects of smoking.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), half the world's population depends on fuel wood, charcoal, coal, grass, bark and even dried animal dung for fuel to cook their daily meals. Most of these cooking fires are inside huts or shelters, resulting in an environment of toxic smoke and fumes. Experts have determined that by breathing the smoke from cooking two meals per day is the equivalent of smoking two to three packs of cigarettes per day.
The EPA considers clean air to contain less than 16 micrograms of fine particles per cubic meter. A smoke alarm will respond to five times that amount. Just three hundred times that much can be deadly over a prolonged period of time. As a Boy Scout, and even today, I enjoy the smell of burning wood from a campfire or even a pile of burning leaves. I am totally oblivious to the contents of the swirling column of toxic chemical agents such as benzene, dioxin, formaldehyde, styrene, methylene chloride and butadiene. Each item of wood, leaf, bark, and grass contributes its own share of poisonous compounds to the enjoyable aroma.
Indoor smoke kills a million and a half people annually according to WHO. Smoke from cooking fires can be traced to a long list of debilitating ailments including pneumonia, bronchitis, emphysema, cataracts, cancers, heart disease, high blood pressure, tuberculosis, brain damage, cleft palate and other various deformities. Deforestation and global warming has brought worldwide attention to the rising smoke from third world kitchens.
The average cooking fire produces as much air pollution as an idling automobile engine, with a great deal more carbon, a substance seven times more warming to the earth since carbon absorbs sunlight and releases heat. A single gram of carbon warms the earth's atmosphere equally as much as a 1500 watt heater running for 168 hours.
You are asking, all right already, what does any of this have to do with healthy chocolate chip cookies or solar ovens?
o Sun ovens cook with the power of sunlight, releasing no harmful polluting by-products.
o The energy from the sun is clean and, what is more, it is free.
Consequently, you are not breathing toxic smoke or polluting the atmosphere as do cooking fires, gas stoves or ovens, electric stoves and ovens that derive their energy from coal-fired generation plants.
Therefore, regardless of what foods you cook or bake in a sun oven, you and your environment will be healthier. Therefore, cookies baked in a solar oven are healthier, even chocolate chip.