Recently, the city of New York made the groundbreaking decision to ban gas stoves in new buildings beginning in 2030. While some may view this as a radical step, many American families are already choosing alternatives to gas appliances in their kitchens as they learn about the potential health risks gas stoves may pose to their families. As Evangelical Christians, we care about these possible harms to our children and communities as well as the impact of gas stoves on God’s creation. By switching out outdated and wasteful appliances, we can also reduce our contribution to methane pollution, which harms our neighbors and drives dangerous climate change.
For many Americans, the kitchen is the heart of the home. However, countless households are still using appliances with dated technology that was last cutting-edge back when our grandparents and great-grandparents were remodeling their kitchens. Gas stoves in particular have been a staple in American kitchens for generations, but they come with a host of problems that can create risks for both our health and God’s creation.
One major drawback of gas stoves is that they release harmful pollutants into the air, such as nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide. These pollutants can exacerbate asthma and other respiratory conditions and have been linked to a range of health problems, including heart disease and cancer. As with many pollutants, children are especially vulnerable to these impacts.
Fortunately, there are many alternatives to gas stoves that are safer while also being more efficient and cost-effective. One option is to switch to an electric stovetop. Electric stoves offer precise temperature control, which can be particularly helpful for cooking delicate dishes. Another option is an induction cooktop, which uses magnetic fields to heat up a pot or pan directly, rather than heating the air around it. Induction cooktops are highly efficient, fast, and safe (no more kids sticking their hands on the pretty red stovetop and getting a surprise). Many models also have features like timers and useful automatic shut-off functions.
Many professional chefs are even moving away from gas stoves toward induction, claiming that they offer even more exact temperature control and a better cooking experience.
When it comes to ovens, switching to an electric convection oven can save time and money, all while keeping indoor air safer and cleaner for families. This is because convection ovens use a fan to circulate hot air and cook food more evenly and quickly than a traditional oven.
Cooking with gas stoves made sense for our grandparents. But so did wrapping pipes in asbestos and adding lead to gasoline. With new knowledge and innovation comes the opportunity to find healthier and safer solutions for our families that better steward the resources God has given us. We’ve removed asbestos from our buildings and taken lead out of paint, gasoline, and our water infrastructure. We’ve updated our cars, our phones, and our TVs. Now is the time to update our kitchens too. By switching to newer, more efficient technology, we can create a safer and more sustainable future for ourselves and for our children.
While updating to safer and more efficient appliances can save money in the long run, upfront costs are still a barrier to many families. To learn more about the money-saving benefits available through the Inflation Reduction Act to help make the switch, check out our previous blog post.