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Food Meets Function

As we are all aware, the past decade has brought gruesome news of the events occurring in Africa, particularly in Darfur and Sudan. There is an amazing organization called Jewish World Watch that made it their mission to fight against genocide. They created an initiative called the Solar Cooker Project. The women living in refugee camps after fleeing Darfur are in charge of making food, in order to cook they must venture out of the camps to collect wood for kindling. This everyday activity has turned into a nightmare for the women since they are often attacked and raped while they are out beyond the walls of the camp.

Jewish World Watch heard of these atrocities and decided a solution must be found to end these horrific occurrences. They developed a solar cooking system that uses the reflection of the sun to cook food, thereby eliminating the need for the women to collect firewood. Think back to the 70’s when people would use tin foil screens to tan outdoors, and you have the basic concept behind the solar cookers.

I find this initiative so impressive because an incredibly simple, low cost solution was created for a very grave situation.

Recently Jewish World Watch held a party celebrating the 5 year anniversary of the Solar Cooker Project and I was honored to be able to attend and support them. Some of L.A.’s most influential women chefs gathered to cater the event.

Suzanne Tracht from JAR & Suzpree
Nancy Silverton from Pizzeria Mozza & Osteria Mozza
Rochelle Huppin from Chefwear
Kajsa Alger from STREET
Natasha MacAller “Dancing Chef”

I was on cloud 9 surrounded but such amazing talent and of course incredible food!

As we entered the event, there on the floor, was an actual Solar Cooker set up baking brownies. To be able to see the product first hand and know that what reminded me of a tanning bed was a life saving device to women half way across the world really struck a chord with me. It is so easy to get caught up in our own lives and not look beyond the  needs of ourselves and our loved ones. But if we do not act as advocates for those that cannot defend themselves, who will be there to help them? In my tiny apartment I have an oven, stove top, microwave and toaster oven. All items I rarely appreciate beyond the fact of them doing their job as quickly as possible. This initiative has brought new light and awareness to everyday items that I typically take for granted.

How can you help? Visit the Jewish World Watch website here. Can’t make a donation? Donate your time! No matter what our walk of life, we each have something that we personally can contribute that will make a difference.


One Response

  1. Impressive entry!
    Bravo Urban Sweets for having a sense of responsibilty.

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