268. PRESSURE COOKERS
I like the idea of looking at energy conservation as an extreme sport. In fact, it would be really cool if they had an energy conservation olympics as a way to promote fun new ways of living well on miniscule amounts of energy. I've previously talked about a couple of low-tech techniques: the space heater and the bicycle. Today let's look at another miracle machine: the pressure cooker.
The energy stats on pressure cookers are amazing. These stats are from Kuhn Rikon, a Swiss manufacturer (click to enlarge):
As you can see, the savings are phenomenal. Depending on how you cook, you can shave your energy needs for cooking by as much as 95%.
Wider adoption of these techniques could have a big impact. According to this report, 17% of U.S. energy consumption is attributable to the food system, and the following chart shows that about 32% of that is consumed by food storage and preparation in the home.
It's interesting to consider methods like this as an alternative to investing in LNG facilities or nuclear plants. If you're going to spend a few billion dollars anyway, why not loan the money to ordinary people to buy gas space heaters and pressure cookers, and promote the idea on TV? It's a simpler way to "produce" the same amount of energy.
-- by JD