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A Range of Debate

Fall 2019
A version of this article appears in the Fall 2019 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 06, 2019
Recent articles about Induction Cookers, notably an opinion piece in the The New York Times, have sparked heated debate regarding the pros and cons of induction cooking vs. gas cooking. There are hundreds of comments at the end of some articles, from all sides of the issue, but there’s a commonality to many: Authors underestimate their audience’s level of understanding. Targeting just the range top instead of the bigger reasons to remove the gas line from new-construction homes is trivializing things. This is evident in the hundreds of comments left by knowledgeable and opinionated readers (over 700 in the NYT piece!). The issue is not how people will cook in the modern home, but how people will heat the air and water in their homes—less tangible for some than cooking. The induction cooker in some ways serves to downplay that issue, like a rodeo clown, running distraction on what will be a wholesale change for new construction. By focusing on a portable induction cooker (when in reality the home of the future will have a modern range-top of an array of cookers) is to trivialize the transition itself.

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