Complementing larger global activities addressing food security and climate change, Mr. Wee commits to raising awareness at the local level so that individuals earning less than median income in Singapore have access to affordable food that also requires less fuel and water in the preparation process. To do so, Mr. Wee will hold a series of rice- and potato-cooking contests in order to identify varieties of staple foods that require fewer resources and less energy to prepare. The latter effort is aimed to reduce the amount of carbon emissions created through household cooking.
With the information generated from the contests, Mr. Wee will negotiate with manufacturers and distributors; purchase the product in bulk; and sell them at cost or donate in the poorer neighborhoods in Singapore. The information will also be provided to the government and other stakeholders so that they have the information to make better food aid decisions.
The commitment has the potential to indirectly impact 2.18 million people; of which 50.5% are females and 16.9% are under the age of 15.
Mr. Wee organizes cooking contests at community centers, raises awareness about the contest in the neighboring estates, and invites housewives to take part in the contest.
The first Fastest-Cooking Rice Contest was held at Yishun South Community Centers. 280 grams of five different brands of rice of two variety-Thai and Indian-were prepared in electric rice cookers. Second contest was held at Marsiling neighborhood centre, and potato cooking course at Hougang Community Centre.
The third contest is scheduled to be held at Ang Mo Kio neighborhood on 30th November 2008 with the support of residents committee and local organizations.
Housewives in the neighborhood personally participate in the cooking of different producers' rice to experience the fastest- cooking rice. Prices of the different rice are also made known to them, so that they can save on price as well as energy. Producers and distributors, being confronted with their competitors' faster cooking times would come back with lower prices or research for faster-cooking products.
So far, Mr. Wee has been able to buy:
- Rice @ US50 cents per kilogramme
- Potatos @ US40 cents per Kilogramme
- Instant noodles @ US9 cents per packet
Mr. Wee intends to hold more contests in various neighborhoods to raise awareness and eventually broaden the contest to include identifying fast-cooking potatoes, another staple food.
- Number of Cooking Contest Held: 15
- Number of individuals with increased access to affordable food: 2.18 million