The gas prices are unbearably high so the future is solar power.
Posted on June 18th, 2011

Dr Hector Perera UK

Chemicals in the kitchen

In the kitchen there are various food substances such as carbohydrates, fats, oils and proteins that are nothing but chemicals. Simple chemicals such salt, baking powder or sodium bicarbonate, vinegar or dilute ethanoic acid, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate or “ajina motto” that boost out the flavours of the food, then citric acid or lime juice and various spices are also found.  Sodium nitrite and nitrate is a kind of food preservative as well but likely to form a dangerous mixture with aluminium. The organic chemicals in spices are far too complicated to be mentioned here and it’s noteworthy that some spices are capable of lowering the cholesterol in the blood. One of them is curry leaves or “karapincha”.  Then cooking oils such as pea nut, sun flower, olive and coconut oils are nothing but saturated and unsaturated oils of long carbon chains. Then margarine and butter as well are fats and oils that again chemicals. The gas cooker runs by methane gas, it can produce a heat between 1300 to 1000 0C and the firewood heat can vary from 500 to 1100 0C mainly due to incomplete combustion. I am sure one would appreciate the fact that kitchens are nothing but places dealing with chemicals and the process of cooking are chemical reactions.  Would you think that everyone who cooks, including the TV chefs have a good understanding about the chemicals? If one doesn’t understand the chemicals, how come they do the chemical reactions or cooking safely? Fortunately any Sri Lankan knows cooking by second nature due to sheer dedicated years of cooking experience.

Balanced diet

The doctors say, one must eat a balanced diet to be healthy. A balanced diet is one which contains carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts and fibre in the correct proportions. Don’t expect to remain healthy if you do not have a balanced diet. You cannot eat whatever you like and stay in good health for example by eating fish and chips or chicken chips, hamburgers that means nothing but fried food all the time then eat sweets and wash down with fizzy drink such as coke.  I agree the fact that one cannot always look out for just healthy food. An occasional treat such as fish and chips or chicken and chips cannot be avoided but must not make it a regular habit. I know some people who frequently eat fried food and drink fizzy drinks then have a couple of cigarettes, do you think it is healthy combination?

When the children leave school?

 Now as a rule over here in UK certain adverts are banned for a certain time of the day because the children get influenced by this kind of adverts. If I am not mistaken, the adverts about too much fat, salt or sugar containing food adverts are restricted for a certain time of the day. The advertisers always target the children in advertising their food.

If we teach the children how to do some simple cooking, the chemicals in food then they can practice when they leave school.  They need to be educated about the importance of health and the food not just for the time being but about the long terms risk factors as well.   

Did you know that some British parents cannot cook at all? If they don’t know any cooking then the supermarket packets, tins and take-away food attractively packed with preservatives would do the job. Then they are back to the square one. In time to come there would be health problems such as obesity, diabetic and over weight or under weight problems, this is because of lack of healthy eating habits.

The authorities are now considering my idea

I have been cooking in this scientific manner at home for years then I thought why not teach the kids and adults this technique. After my TV appearances and live interviews, I have forwarded my prospective ideas to some authorities, I am glad to say some authorities are prepared to consult me about this work. 

   Collision theory and activation energy

For the molecules to react they must have a minimum amount of energy called the activation energy. How the molecules get the energy? They gain energy by movement or kinetic (movement) energy then by vibration.

Now how would you apply these ideas to cooking?

Whether we eat pasta, spaghetti, bread, chapatti or rice they all come under one category, carbohydrates. Chemically any carbohydrate has nothing but carbon, hydrogen and oxygen in them but combined in different ways to give different structures.

Most foods contain carbohydrates, which the body breaks down into simple sugars, the major source of energy for the body. Simple carbohydrates are sugars then the complex carbohydrates, we also called them starches. Starches include grain products, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice. They come in various shapes and sizes, eventually they all break down to give energy.

We apply heat then these molecules gain kinetic, vibrational energy then react with other chemicals in the surrounding.

  Therefore certain reactions are more likely to take place at higher temperatures than at room temperature.  According to chemistry and physics, one of the factors affecting the rate of reactions is the temperature.

When we heat for example a cooking pot with spaghetti or rice with water, we make these different gas molecules inside a cooking vessel to work faster to cook. Water molecules gain heat to become boiling water that rises through the food. Before it moves too far, rice or pasta absorbs that heat then more and more boiling water moves up then some of them escape as steam molecules, if they have excess energy.

 Advantages of my method, scientific eco-friendly cooking

 My method is unique, energy saving, gas and electricity, very scientific and very easy to learn and I am sure the kids and adults would love to cook using my method. Gas is fossil fuel; this is a non renewable source that is when it is finished, it’s gone for ever. We heard many times, it tends to run out soon, if we are not careful. The prices are increasing on a regular basis, we have no control of the prices but we may save gas by using it efficiently.

 Not the end of the road

If the gas runs out that is not the end of the road for energy. There are other sources of energy such as solar power, wind power, wave power then lastly nuclear energy that lasts for ever. It’s not rocket science to split water into hydrogen and oxygen but a simple process of electrolysis, both gases are fuels, how about future cars?

Free solar power.

Just today, it was shown in one of the British TVs where the public could recharge their batteries in lap tops and mobiles for free of charge at a certain place, more such places are on the way. This is a giant step forward, the real use of solar power. I hypothesise in the near future; Sri Lankans could make use of solar power for all domestic power, heating, lighting and also for cooking. The gas prices are soaring up so the people would definitely resort to solar power.

 perera6@hotmail.co.uk

2 Responses to “The gas prices are unbearably high so the future is solar power.”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    Time and again, Mr. Garvin Karunaratne has been very emphatic on the subject of SOLAR POWER. I too concur with him, and Dr. Hector Perera on the inevitable source of Solar Power in the future in Sri Lanka.

    There are a lot of talented Engineers in Sri Lanka. They should get together and promote Solar Power for Domestic use. Hence They should build 3KW- 5KW Solar Panels for Houses, and around 10KW units for Commercial Establishments.

    SOLAR POWER WOULD BE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY, AND A VERY CHEAP SOURCE OF ENERGY.

    It appears that many Companies are developing Wind Power, in Sri Lanka. It is my fervant wish that these Companies will not try to make a killing out of the venture and take the consumers for a ride.

  2. Raj Says:

    I agree with the solar power, however inefficient in terms of ratio of output to input, it is at this moment of time. At some point in future it will be an efficient enough source. But ther are some errors in the article: vinegar is not ethanoic acid but a weak acetic acid, and Ajinamoto is monosodium glutamate.

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