In recent weeks, news reports have surfaced about the possibility of ban of gas stoves in the United States. The debate has become so heated that a Republican congressman from Zeeland, West Michigan, Bill Huizenga, has introduced legislation that would prevent federal agencies from prohibiting the use of gas stoves. We examine the issue and look for alternatives.
Table of Contents – Ban Of Gas Stoves
What Is The Issue With Gas Stoves
Pollutants like nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter are put into the air by natural gas stoves at levels that the US Environmental Protection Agency and the World Health Organization say are unsafe and linked to lung diseases, heart problems, cancer, and other health problems. Also, natural gas stoves are known to leak and release methane, which is a strong greenhouse gas. To stop global warming, policymakers are working to ban the use of natural gas stoves in new buildings.
Are Gas Stoves Safe to Use At Home?
Maybe not! A recent interview with US Consumer Product Safety Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. by Bloomberg suggested that gas stoves are a “hidden hazard” and that the agency could ban them.
There have been other studies that show these stoves release dangerous quantities of nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and fine particulate matter into the air, which, without adequate ventilation, can build up inside and reach EPA-defined harmful levels.
Why Do Top Chefs Prefer Cooking With Gas Vs Electric
Gas stoves are preferred by professional chefs because they can be ignited instantly. As a result, a gas cooktop can heat up much faster than an electric cooktop. Gas ranges produce hotter, more evenly distributed heat than electric stovetops. Food will be able to be cooked faster, allowing the chef to prepare their meal in less time.
In contrast, bakers tend to prefer electric ovens because they often distribute heat more evenly. A ban of gas stoves in restaurants could affect thousands of small businesses.
Is It True That Food Tastes Better When Cooked Over A Gas Flame?
Cooking on a gas burner results in higher temperatures and a quicker Maillard reaction. A Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs in the presence of heat between amino acids and reducing sugars, resulting in the browning of food as well as the production of fresh aromas and flavors. This is especially true of Chinese food when cooking in a wok. Because the higher temperature allows for faster charring and less water loss, the food is tastier and more tender.
How Many Incidents Happen With Natural Gas Each Year?
Never mind the issues about cooking with gas in your home. Just being connected to a public utility’s natural gas services poses inherent risks. The National Fire Protection Association says that about 4,200 house fires start every year because of natural gas. Each year, these fires claimed 40 lives, injured 140 civilians, and caused $54 million in direct property damage.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is the third leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for at least 430 deaths per year, according to the CDC. Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for about 50,000 annual U.S. hospital visits.
Carbon monoxide can be found in the fumes of heating appliances, cooking appliances, lanterns, gas ranges, and wood-burning or charcoal stoves. Enclosed or partially enclosed environments are especially vulnerable to CO buildup from these sources. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can kill people and animals if they are exposed to it in confined spaces.
Is The Government Looking At Ban Of Gas Stoves?
The Federal Government and the Biden Administration have stated unequivocally that a ban on gas stoves will not be implemented. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has stated that they will begin to look for ways to make using gas stoves less toxic by reducing emissions. The Feds say gas stoves are used by over 47 million households.
The simplest and most direct way to help reduce emissions while using a gas stove is to install a range hood that vents gas fumes and cooking odors outside.
Should Those People With Asthma Use Gas Stoves?
For those with asthma, it may be better to seek another cooking method. The National Institutes of Health said that nitrogen dioxide and other combustion by-products can be irritating to the lungs. Adults with asthma may be more likely to get sick from using a gas stove because their airways are already sensitive. However, this link has been hard to prove.
Final Thoughts: Are There Better Alternatives to Gas Stoves?
If you’re looking to ditch your gas stove, there are two practical alternatives, both of which are electric. An electric range is an old standby and not particularly expensive. Basic model stoves can be found in most appliance stores for $500 to $1000.
A higher end alternative is an induction stovetop. An induction cooktop is a type of electric cooktop that heats pots and pans with electromagnetism, making the pots and pans their own heat source. Because these cooktops use electromagnetism to heat pots and pans, the system is very efficient and lets the temperature rise or fall quickly. Induction stoves can cost between $800 and $3000.