Yes, You Can Cook Cultural Cuisine on an Induction Stove
Debunking a common clean energy myth at SCE’s Energy Education Center.
By Marryn Santucci ENERGIZED by Edison Contributor
The debate about cooking traditional cultural meals on a gas versus an electric cooktop can often lead to some spicy family discussions. Take the tortilla. The staple of Mexican cuisine is traditionally heated in a comal (skillet) or cooked in a cazuela (traditional pan) over an open flame. But does it have the same flavor when cooked using an energy-efficient electric induction stove?
More than 50 “promotoras,” or community advocates, collaborating with the health and wellness network AltaMed, recently participated in an induction cooking experiment at Southern California Edison’s Energy Education Center in Irwindale.
Andre Saldivar, SCE senior engineer and Foodservice Technology Center manager, gave the promotoras a tour and culturally competent demonstration in Spanish showcasing the many advantages of induction cooking — including safety, efficiency, long-term cost savings, accurate heat control and health benefits.
“I realized the great technological advances focused on saving the planet, mitigating the greenhouse effect and limiting butane gases,” said Mirna Borquez, a promotora who attended the tour. “I also learned about changes in cooking appliances. I’m now thinking about changing kitchen tableware and grills for the good of planet Earth.”
While AltaMed has been providing health services to underserved and underrepresented communities since 1969, it was only recently that the organization began partnering with another nonprofit, Communities for a Better Environment, to address environmental equity and social justice issues. Through this collaboration, community leaders are educated about the harmful effects of fossil fuel emissions and the importance of electrification in achieving California’s decarbonization goals.
“Showcasing technology and education efforts that support a positive environmental impact is key to transitioning to a clean energy future,” said Chanel Parson, SCE’s director of Electrification. “Many affordable options are available for customers today, and with the current incentives and health benefits, the time to act is right now.”
“SCE’s efforts to make advanced technology more accessible to communities that are disproportionately impacted by environmental inequities are crucial to paving the path toward environmental justice,” said Colleen Rivas, project coordinator for AltaMed’s CORE team. “Information, technology and resources must be accessible to our communities in order to empower them to advocate for change.”
Showcasing technology and education efforts that support a positive environmental impact is key to transitioning to a clean energy future. Many affordable options are available for customers today, and with the current incentives and health benefits, the time to act is right now.”
Chanel Parson, SCE Director of Electrification
The promotoras also went through the EEC’s Smart Energy Experience, including a tour of the on-site smart home, also given in Spanish.
Promotora Yecenia Lopez said she is looking forward to sharing the information about how the new technology applications can lead to a healthier home environment for her patients. “Everything they taught us is super important for us to bring back to our communities,” she said.
While the best way to heat a tortilla may still be up for debate, the conversation on embracing induction cooktops and other home electrification advances as a recipe for a clean energy future is a wrap.
For more on SCE’s clean energy efforts, visit energized.edison.com/cleanenergy.