Washington – Spanish chef Jose Andres met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to join a campaign against toxic smoke and fumes that emanate from deficient kitchen stoves and kill some 2 million people worldwide each year.
At a brief meeting at the State Department, the award-winning chef became a "Culinary Ambassador" for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves.
"I have seen this silent killer first hand, and I am therefore honored to join the Alliance in helping to raise additional awareness," Andres said.
The chef, who owns restaurants in Washington, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, recalled his visit to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake during which he witnessed that "the grinding poverty they (Haitians) live with day-to-day had been exacerbated by dirty cooking conditions in overcrowded and unsafe tent cities."
The aim of the Alliance, launched in September 2010 and headed by the United Nations Foundation, is to get 100 million homes all over the world to be using clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020.
According to the World Health Organization, the smoke and fumes that are released from cooking in stoves fueled by wood, coal or dung constitute the fifth biggest risk factor for the health of people in developing countries.
The Alliance, in which more than 60 countries, U.N. agencies, private firms and NGOs are participating, seeks to mobilize $250 million to promote the use of safer and more efficient cooking methods.