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Stateside we’re looking over holiday menus and planning our feasts to be prepared in modern kitchens with ovens, but in many places people still rely on an open flame to cook.

Solavore is a solar-powered oven that can provide a healthier, safer alternative to that practice.

The St. Paul, Minn., company is headed by Anne Patterson, a tech veteran who has worked at Hewlett-Packard, 3Com Corp, and “managed operations planning for Steve Jobs at NeXT Computer during his Wilderness Years away from Apple.”

The Solavore Sport oven, which harnesses the sun’s power to cook meals much like a crockpot would, has the potential to help the nearly 3 billion families who rely on open fires today. The company has launched an Indiegogo campaign to deliver solar-powered ovens to put out some of those unhealthy cooking fires worldwide.

Photo via Indiegogo/Solavore
Photo via Indiegogo/Solavore

Here are the Solavore’s chief benefits: Improved respiratory health; cutting down on deforestation; savings in energy expenditures; helping with water pasteurization and food dehydration; giving girls and women more time during the day to devote to other positive activities, like school, instead of collecting firewood; and increased income generation from food prepared for sale.

The Solavore Sport oven is “virtually indestructible,” lightweight and 100 percent fuel free.

Solavore has a $40,000 goal, which will help them provide families with ovens. A pledge of $200 buys an oven for a family in India, Cambodia and Kenya; a pledge of $350 secures one oven for a family and one for yours.

Sure, it might be difficult to imagine using the sun-powered oven in the Pacific Northwest now, but let your mind wander back to this summer when sunlight was in ample supply. The oven is easy to clean, portable and convenient for camping — especially if there is a fire ban in effect.

Sounds like a great gift for someone’s family — and for yours.

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