Washington, DC – (September 13, 2011) – The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves announced today that Chef José Andrés will serve as Culinary Ambassador, helping to raise awareness of the death, sickness and injury caused by toxic smoke from cooking stoves in developing countries. Two million people globally die each year from illnesses such as pneumonia, chronic lung disease and cancer – all due to exposure to smoke from harmful and inefficient cooking and heating practices. The vast majority of deaths are among women and children.
“I have seen this silent killer first hand, and I am therefore honored to join the Alliance in helping to raise additional awareness,” said Chef José Andrés. “Shortly after the earthquake, I went to Haiti to assist in humanitarian relief efforts, and saw that the grinding poverty they live with day-to-day had been exacerbated by dirty cooking conditions in overcrowded and unsafe tent cities.”
Every day, nearly 3 billion people eat food that was prepared using a crude cookstove or open fire – typically fueled by biomass such as wood, charcoal or dung – in homes with poor or no ventilation. Exposure to smoke from these stoves has been categorized by the World Health Organization as the fifth biggest health risk in developing countries.
Chef José Andrés continued, “I formed World Central Kitchen to provide innovative solutions to alleviate hunger throughout the developing world, including the deployment of clean and innovative cooking solutions because for too many women and children in Haiti and elsewhere, the danger and difficulty of cooking has reached a crisis point. I am committed to working with Secretary Hillary Clinton, Global Ambassador Julia Roberts and the Alliance’s many partners to ensure that this issue is on the agenda of advocates, chefs, business-owners and policymakers worldwide.”
“Chef José Andrés’ passion for economic and social empowerment through sustainable, safe and clean cooking practices in developing countries has few rivals,” said Radha Muthiah, the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “World Central Kitchen’s work will help the Alliance reach its goal of 100 million homes adopting clean and efficient household cooking and heating solutions by 2020.”
“As Culinary Ambassador, Chef José Andrés will be an instrumental partner in realizing a future in which open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient and affordable stoves and fuels all over the world,” said Kris M. Balderston, State Department Special Representative for Global Partnerships. “His commitment won’t just save lives; it will improve the lives and livelihoods of countless women across the globe.”
About Chef José Andrés:
Chef José Andrés was named the 2011 Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation. He is founder of World Central Kitchen and owner and partner of ThinkFoodGroup, which includes celebrated restaurants in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Las Vegas. He is a television personality, author and food policy advocate. Andrés is also Chairman Emeritus for DC Central Kitchen and teaches on Science and Cooking at Harvard. Visit www.thinkfoodgroup.com for more information.
About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:
Launched by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2010, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a United Nations Foundation-led public-private partnership to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking and heating solutions. The Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal calls for 100 million homes to adopt clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance will work with public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. Visit www.cleancookstoves.org or www.cookingshouldntkill.orgfor more information.
About World Central Kitchen:
World Central Kitchen is a non-profit organization based in Washington DC led by chef Jose Andres with the ultimate goal of alleviating hunger in both countries affected by chronic food crisis and countries affected by natural disasters. In this context World Central Kitchen will develop a series of interconnected activities leading to the achievement of this goal. World Central Kitchen will operate in countries affected by natural disasters and chronic food insecurity by cooking for and feeding vulnerable people, supporting the local agriculture economy through local food purchases, and promoting nutritious foods, recipes, and optimal use of environmentally sustainable cooking fuels and technologies.
World Central Kitchen is built around research and investigation that will help the organization meet its objectives. World Central Kitchen will partner with key stakeholders in areas relating to the following: (i) monitoring changes in climate and other facts to forecast upcoming natural disasters (ii) improved sustainable energy cooking methods, (iii) regarding the effective affordable and suitable use of energy efficient cooking technologies. A primary reason for developing a research agenda in these areas is to overcome the current data deficit which brings the opportunity to empirically prove the effectiveness in specific projects their adaptation capacity and speed the interventions.
World Central Kitchen intends to alleviate the negative offset of permanent food aid campaigns. WCK intends to develop social business models based on cooking with local and diversified products and obtaining revenues for such cooking. Locals will become the beneficiaries and main drivers of the projects designed by WCK so that after the execution phase, the needs of the targeted people will be covered in a sustainable manner. This approach will contribute to improve the labor market while transferring the projects’ ownership to locals according to their needs and culture.