I lived in various different climatic settings and one thing that is a persistent small problem causing large amounts of waste is storing food. If it is a tropical climate and you leave the food outside it will go bad due to the heat and if you are in somewhere cold and dry then you have to reheat your food in the microwave multiple times which is bad for your health. So how do we cover and store our food to reduce waste and effort? This conceptual device called The Mother’s Heart has the answers…yes, just like our mothers in the kitchen.
There is a Korean practice of covering food with a cloth (Sang bo) which has been a tradition for centuries and has worked well – a ramie or silk fabric covering keeps it ventilated in the summers while a thicker fabric keeps it insulated in the winters. Inspired by this, the Mother’s Heart was designed to keep food fresh and retain its original nutrient quality. It is a simple device that is crafted like a dome food covering and an accompanying base plate. The covering has a dial on top and that lets you adjust the settings based on the food you’ve cooked. You can select between refrigeration or warmth and there is a timer feature that lets you select for how long you want to keep it running. The bottom heating coil can maintain an internal temperature of 60 Celcius or higher to store food like noodles and curry. The upper cooling fan can keep the temperature below 5 Celcius to store dishes like salads or sandwiches.
“When I came home and lift up the cloth to have my meal, I could feel my mother’s warmth in the warmth of the rice. This design is inspired by sang bo so that mothers can still give their children fresh meals infused with their love,” elaborates Seojoung as he recalls the nostalgia that led him to create the award-winning Mother’s Heart. This is not only a convenient device for mothers but also anyone who works and cooks their own meals. It has the ability to help us reduce food waste and consume radiation-free meals. While meal-prep is great, there is nothing like a freshly cooked meal after you finish your chores – no one likes a wilted lettuce salad or a microwaved mac-n-cheese.
Designer: Yu Seojoung