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"Power-diet" – Money-focused Home-cooking-manual (wiki or App)

A peer-to-peer-platform online with lots of information regarding cooking and storing food in appropriate and best effective way. Teaching home economics with regards to budget, seasonality with ingredients and energy use needed to cook them. Video-tutorials made by users in many categories, tagged with info about best month of the year to cook a recipe depending on total cost of ingredients and electricity and gas use. (lots of other options are available to put into categories and chapters surrounding food)

Photo of Johan Löfström
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  • Don't know how to cook?
  • Don't know how to eat healthy at home?
Eating often in restaurants are expensive!
Eating fast-food all the time is unhealthy!
  • Would you want to see simple instructions on how to cook?
  • Would you want to have advice to save some money? and lots of time?
  • Would you want to learn how to reduce your utility bills?
  • and to reduce your food costs?

I promise it can be done without any need for investments or changing anything fundamental in your daily life.
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The most significant efficiency improvement that can be made regarding food is for the citizens to walk, use bicycle or take the bus home from the grocery store or supermarket.
There is plenty of "Home-economics-advice" on domestic efficiency that can be faster and cheaper to spread, teach and make people implement. Simple tricks, like putting a lid on your pot and using a timer and turning off the hotplate some minutes before your food is done.
So this concept does not involve any part of the existing conservative Food Industry
For other concepts regarding transports, take a look at my profile or Bus + Food or Carpool 2 Food

But regarding cooking tutorials, I just did a quick search : http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=quick+easy+cooking+tutorial&aq=f
Seems like it exists some advice here and there, but beginners must understand that the help is near, that they can learn how to cook simple dishes in exact same way as they learn peer-to-peer about computer software and how to play an instrument. (music and software tutorials are extremely abundant on youtube, so cooking is in minority right now)

I would imitate KhanAcademy.org, to build up a local or international platform where embedded videos exist and are categorized, and validated by moderators that they do not cost too much and cooking does not take too long time. Tagged or marked with difficulty and skill level required, from Absolute beginner to medium skilled amateur. (but avoid recipes that are demanding for normal people) Combine these facts with guided help on where the ingredients is found, in which supermarket the lowest price are, in what section/aisles it normally is placed, and in what month the whole dish is most expensive / affordable depending on seasonal and local/imported ingredients. We could let supermarkets advertise, to show temporary bargain prices.

Further description of my thoughts:
There exists lots of big and small advice everywhere on internet about saving electricity and fuel efficiency and conservation of energy. But the big problem is that citizens must first know that they exists and then they must actively search for it! And it can be difficult to find the proper facts that is relevant for your individual living conditions and ambitions!
If the people are not aware of its availability and cannot find this advice they will not realize how easy it is to cook and save money : they carry on, with old "convenient" methods, business as usual... in a wasteful 20th century kind of way.

There's plenty of easy ways to reduce electricity waste in our kitchens, "POWER-DIET" in small steps each month!
A Wiki-style data-base portal is probably best method.
Functionality will be only on internet so that the users can sit in comfort at a computer and prepare their next shopping list. You could use some functionality with a smart-phone, to make the shopping list available in your pocket from the online-site when you are in the shop and searching.

Users could perhaps take photo of their monthly/quarterly utility bill and grocery receipts, upload it to a database and get comments and creative feedback from other users. (similar to OpenIDEO)

It could be useful to geo-tag the different videos and categories with regions, because vegetables and fruit come in season differently in different regions.

If you used this system for several months the system starts to use artificial intelligence based on your facts, so you will be able to see estimate yearly graphs of your food costs, and see budget for next year or monthly. And with interactivity you could go into the graph and edit the amount of ingredients you buy and cook, to see the effect on the budget. Also edit the transportation method you use and frequency you go shopping, to see the effect on fuel costs vary with different options.
Taking one portion of meat per month and replacing it with a salad or a tuna-sandwich will show you dramatic improvements in a cost-approximation-graph. so the incentive will be very visible! and influence you to take more meals of meat dishes and replace with other ingredients per month.

And this whole concept could be done very cheap! this concept will instantly cause reduced costs for people. It will bring an increase in food knowledge and awareness. And so many other benefits and positive side-effects from this simple project.

Other concepts exists around Apps, but those are too focused on growing crops and the origin of food. My concept is basically concerned about ONLY cooking. But I am open to join forces with for example Sina, and his lovely designed Eatcyclopedia-App! Or Amara and her Eating-local-meals-on-aisle-7

These New cooking methods that I want to propose in this concept does not require you to buy any new equipment, and they should all be simple enough to do and easy for beginners to understand and copy.
But to best motivate most amount of people we need to make them focus on their own wallets and bank accounts and bills.
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My personal use of electricity is now lower than 60kWh/month for my cooking and storing food.
So there is potential for most normal people to cut utility costs in cooking up to 50%, without having to "sacrifice" modernities and convenience!
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Remember, please, that I DO NOT advocate any extreme measures.
I do not require people to stop breathing or go living in caves just to save the world.
This concept is making people aware, making them think, and perhaps making them able to make an informed choice on their own wish to save little money, and lets them decide individually if they would want to save 1%, 5%, 10%, 25% or perhaps 50%.
And the side-effects will be solidarity with other people and future generations...
And at the same time reduces some emissions.
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I just edited some on this page, and took all the old text from this original concept, saved it in a text file, and putting it below, as an appendix, so you can download it if you are ready to read all my rants and ramblings...

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Photo of Meena Kadri

@Johan – surely you didn't fit all of that goodness on your whiteboard before posting!? We're still interested in a photo of it by the way. Would be great if you could post here: http://openideo.zendesk.com/entries/465768-openideator-creative-spaces

Photo of Johan Löfström

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150160342218358&set=a.94760773357.88099.664458357&type=1

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150160338558358&set=a.432606473357.213849.664458357&type=1

Photo of Johan Löfström

I read in other concepts and comments that fridges and cupboards can be cluttered and so full that you do not notice what you got in them. And some propose digital gadgets to keep track of your fresh ingredients, so you use it before they risk to go off and be wasted.

But this concept I got here is perfect place for people sharing good advice on best methods to keep track of the "use-before-dates", with a whiteboard or post-it-notes or any old manual bulletinboard. For two purposes: to reduce wasted food, and to keep fridge door closed as much as possible to save electricity.

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