1st Annual San Diego Solar Cook-Off

Balboa Park - July 11 Grab your grub and attend the first annual solar cookoff in Balboa Park, July 11th at Park and President's Way from 10 am to 5 pm. The event was inspired by the successful 16 years of solar cookoff fairs in Tucson, Arizona, where enthusiasts travel cross country to cook in their originally designed solar ovens. The Sustainable Community Action Network (SCAN) is organizing the event.

You will be able to see all types of solar cookers in action, from simple box cookers/ovens to high tech parabolic heat concentrating cookers. The fun begins with a short tour of the different designs. Then awards will be given out based on a number of categories, which include the highest temperature at noon, the most portable cooker, and the most innovative design. Of course the highlight of the event is the potluck feast where participants can try out all the goodies prepared throughout the day.

Solar cookers generally take twice as long as conventional ovens to cook a meal, but with pollution-free energy from the sun. Turkey, tofu, and even pizza are suitable for solar cooking. Solar energy can be used for water purification and food drying and these techniques will be on display.

The event is open to the public to tour and ask questions on design and cooking techniques. Participants must pre-register to bring a solar cooker and to partake in the potluck meal. Call Nancy at (760) 436-0404 for registration information. A representative of Solar Cookers International will be on site to answer questions. Solar Cookers International is a non-profit organization promoting the use of solar cookers by providing free portable cookers and instruction to poor countries and refugee camps around the world.

Proponents of solar cooking estimate that 2,400 million people could potentially use cookers by the year 2000. If just 1% of them actually use solar cookers, it will save 3.2 million tons of firewood per year, reduce emissions of millions of tons of carbon dioxide per year, improve health and relieve heavy burdens caused by growing fuel shortages in many arid parts of the world.

Use of solar cookers would also save hours of labor for women in third world countries who currently spend most of their day foraging for wood at ever longer distances for the daily meal. More information about solar cooking is available at http://www.accessone.com/~sbcn

The Sustainable Community Action Network (SCAN), a member non-profit corporation, holds monthly meetings on topics such as solar energy, organic gardening, straw bale construction and other sustainable technologies. SCAN can be reached at (619) 583-5595.

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