As you may know, the sun can produce electricity using solar panels and an inverter but did you also know that you can cook food directly with the sun? And I’m not talking about cracking an egg on a hot driveway in the midst of summer. On a recent visit to Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village in rural Missouri, for a sustainable weekend workshop, I learned all about the power of the sun as a means to make meals.
At Dancing Rabbit, the residents live in an “off-the-grid” community and therefore need to utilize all of the natural resources at their disposal, including a (very unique) Parabolic Solar Cooker. I’d never seen anything like it before; just imagine a giant satellite dish made with curved mirrors with a pole in the middle, extending to hold a pot. These solar cookers use a parabolic-shaped reflector to direct sunlight to a small area in order to generate great heat for cooking. Amazingly, a cooker can reach high temperatures of around 662 °F, allowing them to be used for grilling and frying. They can also be used to pasteurize water during emergencies. A Parabolic Solar Cooker is the ultimate energy cost reduction option.
Like most of us who are not grid-free, there is another great way to reduce electricity costs. You can lock in a fixed energy rate and not be subject to rising utility prices or peak daytime power rates. These programs are available through energy retailers like SFE Energy who also offer a unique green program, which plants a tree on your behalf when you enrol in the program.