Did you know that 3 billion families around the world cook their meals over open fires every day? Or that the smoke inhalation from these cooking fires is the leading cause of death globally? More than 50% of deaths in children under five are related to household air pollution like the smoke from cooking fires. The need for firewood is also a major cause of deforestation.
But there is an elegant solution—one that could make a big difference for families everywhere—even here in North America…
The Wonderbag Works Wonders
The Wonderbag is a revolutionary non-electric, portable slow cooker invented by Sarah Collins. Sarah grew up in South Africa and saw the problems that wood fire cooking created for families in her country.
Wood fire cooking is a major source of social, health, economic and environmental issues in Africa, and she wanted very much to create something that would help solve these problems.
By reducing the need for firewood collecting and usage, as well as the time spent cooking, women across Africa who use the Wonderbag are able to spend more time with their family and community, and in generating an income.
And since 82% of rapes in Africa occur while collecting firewood for cooking, the Wonderbag can reduce the incidence of this horrible crime as well.
As an added benefit, children can spend more time in school instead of collecting firewood, and they are less likely to fall ill or die from smoke inhalation related to wood fire cooking.
And if that weren’t enough, each Wonderbag also saves 1 ton of carbon emissions, 1.7 trees and 1,000 liters of water a year!
How Does the Wonderbag Work?
The Wonderbag is a machine-washable, colorful, fabric bag filled with repurposed foam chips that insulate and hold cooking heat. It is basically an eco-friendly plug-free crock pot that works perfectly for camping, BBQs, potlucks, tailgating, emergencies, or any time you want to cook a meal without the use of fuel or electricity.
It’s even great for slow cooking (say, pork shoulder carnitas) during the summer when you don’t want your electric slow cooker to heat up your house!
The Wonderbag cooks food, which has been initially brought to a boil by conventional methods, for up to eight hours, without the additional use of fuel.
You simply boil your food on the stove, let it simmer, then place the pot with its lid into the Wonderbag. Cinch the bag tight, let the bag stand for up to 8 hours, and then serve. Because it is not on direct heat, it won’t overcook or burn.
You can cook stews, curries, rice, beans, pasta, oatmeal, soups, or even yogurt—anything you might make in an electric slow cooker, you can make in the Wonderbag. If you need some additional ideas, it comes with complete instructions and a little cookbook full of delicious recipes!
By freeing up time and resources spent in cooking, the Wonderbag makes life easier and more affordable for everyone who uses it. So you can imagine how this might transform the lives of women in Africa!
For this reason, you should know that perhaps the best part of owning a Wonderbag is that for every Wonderbag purchased in the U.S. or Canada, one bag will be donated to a family in need in Africa, which will help reduce the deaths to children and adults caused by cooking fires. All donations are distributed through the Wonderbag Foundation.
I absolutely love my Wonderbag and knowing that I am not only cooking without electricity at home, but also helping save trees, water and lives makes me love it all the more.
The Wonderbag makes an incredibly thoughtful, planet-friendly gift that makes a difference in the kitchen and in the world too.
How does it get better than that?
I highly recommend picking up one or two for the cooks in your life. The Wonderbag is sold exclusively through Amazon, so check it out there.
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50 Ways to Love Your Mother contains 50 simple, “entry-level” ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Not only will these baby steps go easy on the planet, but they will go easy on your wallet, too.