Solar ovens are long-lasting, zero-emission cooking tools that use no fuel – making them perfect for both off-the-grid cooking and developing countries that don’t have access to a reliable grid to begin with. In an effort to get healthy, well-cooked food to these nations, the American SunOven company has put together a series of initiatives that will work with governments and NGO’s to bring this ingenious technology to the people that need it the most. By setting up local SunOven assembly plants, SunOven will be able to cutting the cost of the ovens by half, provide local jobs, and help reduce deforestation and actually help to heal the environment by allowing villages to re-grow their trees without the need to chop them back down again for fuel.
The SunOven NGO programs are currently being set up in more than forty countries around the world, and the company has targeted programs for orphanages and refugee centers, and sees the SunOven as a great way to accomplish five of the objectives of the Beijing Platform for Action, including strengthening women’s roles in environmental sustainability, promoting women’s health by providing a smoke-free cooking option, promoting educational equality by reducing the amount of time required to gather, manage, and dispose of firewood supplie), protection from violence against women by providing jobs and improving general health and education, and ending women’s economic inequality by giving them jobs and a tool that can be put to commercial use without increasing their energy costs.
The SunOven version sold in America for individuals and families is solidly built and comes with some fantastic little touches that really excite the tech happy / off-the-grid cooking enthusiast in me. For example, each oven comes with built-in levelling sights so that you can be sure to get the most out of the sun rays to cook your dinner. Another ingenious trick is the hanging basket to put the food on the makes sure that the food stays level no matter which of the nine different angle settings you choose. In addition, you can gear up with the dehydrating and baking trays, as well as a fancy water pasteurisation indicator.
You can get a sense of all the SunOven’s features in the comprehensive (if a touch boring) videos, below …
… and, definitely take note: solar ovens still work, even in the bitter and, potentially, deadly cold of a Michigan winter …
… which, if you ask me, is pretty impressive! Sure, off-the-grid cooking with solar ovens might take a bit longer than a quick blast from the microwave, but when your neighbors are staring blankly at their non-functioning (and non-portable! – Ed.) kitchen appliances in the aftermath of the next hurricane/earthquake/zombie infestation you and yours will be well fed.
Source | Photos: SunOven