Extra Extra! – Dirty Cooking in the News

We seem to have adapted to a nation where people smoke far more infrequently than they used to. I can’t barely stand to park next to a car in which the driver is smoking, or begin to understand how people used to eat in a restaurant full of cigarette smoke. But I remember the days when cigarette vending machines were everywhere. I’m glad those days are gone.

Lately we’ve been treated to breaking news in China, where officials had to declare a pollution “red alert” for the first time. But it seems Beijing isn’t the world capital of pollution, that ignominious title goes to Delhi, India. The average pollution level in Delhi for the smallest, most dangerous airborne particles this autumn was over 10 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guideline.

Particular about particulates – The Economist

The recent article in the Economist discusses the pollution in India at length, but it glosses over a very important aspect of the source of the pollution in India: cooking smoke.

The largest cause is not cars or factories: it is smoke from home cooking, while in northern India stubble-burning in the countryside is also a factor. But vehicles play a big part, and it is to this source that the keenest attention is now being paid.          – The Economist

Here’s a fun fact. Indoor pollution levels from cooking smoke are, on average, 50 times greater than the WHO guidelines for small particulates. That’s like taking the air in Delhi (the world’s most polluted city) and distilling it till it was ten times stronger, then releasing it into your own home. Every day. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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But it doesn’t have to be this way. Travel back in time to Day 1 of our journey, and discover how Pasqual plans to make a difference.

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