Media Releases | 23rd Apr, 2024

MasterChef should lead by example by dropping “greenwashing” gas sponsorship

MasterChef Australia should lead by example and join its international counterparts in switching away from cooking with gas at a time when the adverse health and climate impacts are becoming more well known, health and environment groups said today.

Following the news that Australian Gas Networks will sponsor Masterchef Australia, the groups have written a letter to Masterchef Australia encouraging them to join international Masterchef programs including the UK, Italy, Singapore, Denmark and Spain where competitors have been cooking on induction cooktops for many years.

“The Sponsorship announced today only helps to greenwash the gas industry and create a false impression that biomethane and hydrogen are good replacements for methane gas. Australian Gas Networks have been peddling these gases as solutions to replace methane gas in an attempt to protect their massive profits – but in reality they can’t do the job,” said Joy Toose, Climate campaign manager for Environment Victoria.

“In Victoria where MasterChef Australia is filmed, the Allan government has recently banned gas connections in new homes from January 2024 in order to meet our climate targets and protect the health of all Victorians, so it is completely out of sync with the shifting political and social attitudes to gas that the program continues to promote the use of gas in homes.”

“Masterchef is uniquely positioned to influence Australia’s cultural landscape as the nation’s most successful cooking program. It should be promoting healthier electric induction cooking that protects our kids’ health rather than peddling the gas industry’s false solutions. We know that neither biomethane nor hydrogen are credible solutions to our gas problem and both are still harmful to human health.”

“The bottom line is that burning gas in our homes is unhealthy, polluting and expensive – these false solutions are only a distraction from the reality that we need to remove gas from our homes altogether.”

Ben Ewald from Doctors for the Environment Australia said:

“Living in a house with a gas stove increases the risk of child asthma by 42% so there is a clear health benefit from avoiding indoor gas use. Masterchef Australia has an opportunity to educate Australians on the excellent cooking properties and health benefits of induction stoves.”

“Burning methane gas – no matter where it comes from – produces a whole range of air pollutants, including benzene, a carcinogen, carbon monoxide (CO), formaldehyde, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a respiratory irritant responsible for the asthma link.”

“A child living with gas cooking in the home has a comparable risk of asthma to a child living with household cigarette smoke. Research shows that gas cooking is responsible for up to 12% of the childhood asthma burden in our country and Australia has the highest rates of asthma in the developed world.”

Read more info about hydrogen and bio-methane here – ‘Green gas’ myths debunked: Why hydrogen and bio-methane can’t save the gas network

Read our joint open letter to Masterchef here.

James Norman, Media and Content Manager

Ph: 0451291775