Wonderbag may be world changing.
Imagine a kitchen appliance so basic that it could cook a meal without electricity. Imagine how it could change the world — creating a way for people to cook their meal safely in third world countries. Collecting enough wood to keep a fire going all day to cook a stew is time consuming and those constant open fires can be dangerous. With the Wonderbag the food is brought up to a simmer and then placed in the bag where it continues to simmer for hours without the need for added energy.
While it might be a great help in third world countries there are reasons why home cooks in more prosperous areas would want to have one of these on hand as well. They run about $60.00 on Amazon.
How Does Wonderbag Work?
It is an insulated cooking bag what works on the same principle as a slow cooker but without the need for electricity. Since it doesn’t create its own heat you have to bring the pot of food up to a simmer and then place the whole thing in the Wonderbag. The food continues to cook without using any additional energy — which saves money and is good for the environment. Keep in mind that there is no evaporation in the bag so you’ll want to use less liquid than you would for a normal slow cooker.
An inner layer of insulation containing recycled polystyrene balls is covered with an outer drawstring cover of poly-cotton textiles. The company plans to replace the non-biodegradable polystyrene with a more eco-friendly polyurethane blend.
You could put your food in and take it to a tailgating party or a picnic and the meal would continue to cook and stay at a safe, as well as appetizing, serving temperature. It works the opposite way as well. If you want to serve ice cream at your next tailgating party the Wonderbag will keep it icy cold until it’s time to eat.
How It Began
The founder of Wonderbag, Sarah Collins, grew up in South Africa. She had a passion for the environment and for social change. After having been involved with groups that worked to alleviate poverty she understood the need for families to save money any way possible.
When her area experienced power cuts in 2007 Collins because frustrated with dinners that went uncooked. She remembered a technique her grandmother used to save energy while cooking — surrounding pans with pillows to maintain the cooking temperature when the stove was turned off. She tried it, it worked, and the idea for Wonderbag was born.
For each Wonderbag sold the company donates one to a family in Africa.
In Africa women and girls often walk long distances and spend hours collecting enough wood to cook the family meals every day. Rape is a huge problem in that country — a girl alone gathering wood is a prime target. By using the Wonderbag she no longer needs to wander far away from the relative safety of home to look for wood. Even when she finds the wood it takes hours to cook the food and tend the fire, leaving little time for women to pursue education. Since this product needs no wood and no supervision the time spent cooking is greatly reduced and allows more time to pursue education among other things.
That makes the company world changing in almost every way possible.
image: via Amazon