On 15 November, the two winners of the Food Planet award from the ten selected finalists from all over the world were announced. The Curt Bergfors Food Planet Prize is the largest monetary award in the global food arena and in 2022 it’s now also the world’s biggest environmental award that is all about food.
The two change-making initiatives that were deemed most deserving to receive 2 million dollars to scale their impact were Coldhubs from Nigeria and the Global Mangrove Alliance from the USA. Among the ten hopeful finalists was another African based food and environmental solution – South Africa’s very own Wonderbag!
Wonderbag was shortlisted a month earlier by Food Planet as the only South African based company and one of only two African entities worldwide that offered the world a game-changing initiative to address the climate crisis through food solutions.
Wonderbag was founded in 2008 by Sarah Collins who says that this simple but revolutionary invention was driven by a yearning for equality and social justice that’s since developed into an entrepreneurial solution to many of the world’s humanitarian and environmental problems by changing the way people cook.
“Heat retention cooking was something that needed to be mainstreamed… moved into the twenty-first century,” says Collins. “It’s so obvious. But everybody wants a button to press, something fancy. Whereas the most simple solution is often the best one.”
Drawing on heat retention technology, after bringing a pot of food to the boil and placing it into a Wonderbag with the ‘lid’ draw-stringed close, the food will continue to cook for up to eight hours.
According to Collins, through the use of residual heat alone, Wonderbag users will reduce their fuel and electricity usage by up to 70% and decrease indoor air pollution by 60%.
Further to this, the company claims that annually, each unit also diverts 1,000 hours of unpaid labour (for example, for cooking and gathering firewood and water), saves five large trees from deforestation (by using less wood fuel for fires), and saves up to a ton of carbon emissions per year, while also potentially boosting household incomes by $2 or R17 per day.
“Wonderbag has the potential to be one of the largest scalable solutions to Carbon Offsets across the developing world, whilst simultaneously building resilient energised communities that support people, predominantly women and children, who are the most affected by the Climate Crisis. We are so proud of what we have achieved so far, and we are determined to keep making a difference to the planet and the people who live on it,” adds Collins.
Issued by Rain Maker Marketing on behalf of Wonderbag
Feature image supplied by Wonderbag