Connecting the Dots: Cooking, Climate, and Clean Air

Did you know the gas that heats our buildings, cooks our food, and dries our clothes causes air pollution? Recent studies demonstrate the climate and health harms of burning gas indoors, particularly in our kitchens. Gas stoves can emit up to 1.3 percent of the gas as unburned methane—a powerful greenhouse gas—along with other health-damaging air pollutants. Fortunately, electrified stoves offer a physician and chef-approved solution! In this episode, host Sara Baldwin stirs up this hot topic with Dr. Curtis Nordgaard, a pediatrician and research scientist at PSE Healthy Energy, Dr. Eric Lebel, Senior Scientist at PSE Healthy Energy, and Chef Christopher Galarza, Founder of Forward Dining Solutions LLC. Join us to find out how we can all cook clean!

Editor’s Note: This episode was recorded prior to the enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes new incentives for electrification, including for induction and electric stoves.

Guest Bios:

Dr. Curtis Nordgaard is a board-certified pediatrician with a diverse research background in basic and clinical science. He is part of a group called PSE Healthy Energy, which stands for Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers for Healthy Energy, where he does research on natural gas and its implications for human health. The Boston University Superfund Research Program and Toxics Action Center granted him their Science for the Benefit of Environmental Health award in recognition of the technical guidance he provides for community organizations working on gas issues and air quality monitoring. Dr. Nordgaard holds two Master of Science degrees in Psychology and Biology from McMaster University, and a Medical Degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed his residency training at the Boston University School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School combined training program in pediatrics. In addition to his research, he practices pediatrics and trains resident pediatricians at a community health center in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston.

Dr. Eric Lebel is a Senior Scientist at PSE Healthy Energy, where he does research on emissions of methane and health-damaging air pollutants, including those from abandoned oil and gas wells and residential appliances. He has worked to develop new methods for quantifying these emissions and has designed and executed research campaigns to systematically quantify emissions of methane and other pollutants throughout the state, authoring several research studies on the topic. Eric graduated from Stanford University with a PhD in Environmental Earth System Science.

Chef Christopher Galarza, Founder of Forward Dining Solutions LLC, is an entrepreneur, author, public speaker, and podcaster renowned for his work in kitchen electrification. He is the country’s foremost expert in commercial electric-kitchens, and he works with governments, manufacturers, brands, designers, and chefs to create lasting sustainable kitchens and culinary ecosystems. Chef Galarza has worked for Carnegie Melon University, Monterey Bay of Pittsburgh, and The Greenbrier of WV where he apprenticed under several Certified Master Chefs and culinary Olympians.

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