Clean Cooking is a term that is used to describe cooking that is fuel efficient and gives off little or no smoke. Nearly half the world cooks with biomass fuel which includes wood, dung, or coal. The problem with this kind of cooking is that many of the stoves used by developing communities use stoves that are inefficient and create smoke that spreads inside their house. The contaminated air is then breathed in by the residents of the house causing a number of health problems. In fact, cooking fires are one of the leading causes of death in children under the age of five in the developing world.
One of the most common stove types is the three-stone stove. This stove is very cheap and easy to make, requiring only three large stones of similar height that allows for fuel to be burned underneath a pot that sits on the stones. This type of open fire cooking is inefficient, dangerous, and pollutes the air. Users of this method must also gather larger quantities of wood which increases deforestation and increases cooking preparation time. An improved cooking stove could decrease fuel consumption by up to 90%.
One of the reasons so many households still use the three stone cooking method is due to lack of funds and not knowing how to get a better stove. This problem has sparked non-profit companies to help these communities gain access to better cooking methods. They help local communities set up local factories that produce improved stoves that mitigate many of the problems associated with open fire cooking methods. The result is a way to cook with safer, cleaner, more fuel-efficient stoves that are more pleasing to use.