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relates to How Did Gas Stoves Ignite a Culture War?
Photographer: Sarah Anne Ward for Bloomberg Businessweek. Prop stylist: Paola Andrea

How Did Gas Stoves Ignite a Culture War?

While culture warriors and foodies panic over their favorite kitchen appliance, the induction range is still waiting for America to fall in love.

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One night in early February, several thousand homebuilders, interior designers, general contractors and property flippers assembled in a Las Vegas hotel ballroom for the closing-night festivities of the annual Design + Construction Week, a smorgasbord of trade shows that includes the International Builders’ Show (IBS) and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). For three days attendees wandered the floors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, many sporting fleece vests and branded ball caps, taking in the very latest in drawer pulls and engineered hardwoods, slip-resistant tiles and rain showerheads.

To cap off the events, rocker Sheryl Crow led her band through a dutiful set as residential construction professionals mingled in the rear of the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino ballroom, talking shop. The chatter touched on mortgage interest rates and material costs and the dismal work ethic of a younger generation. But most alarming of all was the possible intrusion of federal bureaucrats into a deeply fraught and intensely personal decision many couples prefer to make in the privacy of their own home.