Cooking Becomes Healthy

Cooking Becomes Healthy

We cook so that we and our families can enjoy nutritious food and gain the mental and bodily strength to live our lives well. But what if the actual process of cooking is unhealthy – unhealthy to the cooks and to the environment?

Anna explains how the traditional household cooking method in Uganda is unhealthy and thankfully also how the energy saving stove solves the problem.

As part of the sustainable community development programme, Amigos promotes the building and use of energy saving stoves. Community farming groups can now cook their organically-grown nutritious vegetables in a responsible way.

The traditional cooking method

The traditional household cooking method (3-stone fires) is a major cause of respiratory illness because of the excessive amounts of smoke produced. It is also damaging to eyes, causing the “red eyes” in elderly women which can then lead to them be considered as “witches”. Also, using a lot of firewood is leading to deforestation, a problem causing poverty in many rural communities. People, particularly young girls, have to go further and spend longer (sacrificing their own education) collecting firewood while their local environment is being irreversibly damaged. 

The energy saving stove

Communities are taught how to build energy efficient stoves (using 50% less firewood than 3-stone fires) made of local materials. This design takes the smoke outside and enables the cook to have two pots cooking at one time. It also means people can save time collecting firewood and it reduces the chance of children being burned as the fire is enclosed. 

In this way, cooking becomes healthy. The cooks do not harm themselves and are better able to do other tasks as well. And communities, who also learn tree-planting, can look forward to life in a sustainable environment.