Everybody gets into a bit of a cooking rut sometimes.
Perhaps the dread comes right after the holidays, because you've been cooking day in and day out in preparation for the big feast and now you're all burnt out.
Or maybe you've just been consuming the same types of meals, and you're uninspired to innovate in the kitchen.
Perhaps, of course, it's for more economic reasons; cooking can be expensive, resources can be limited, and not everybody has access to certain appliances that make food more palatable or safe to eat.
The above is one of the reasons that Israeli design student Iftach Gazit was inspired to come up with a way that allows more people to cook a warm, home-made meal, no matter their circumstances.
Gazit's project is to produce boil-in-the-bag meals that can be cooked in a washing machine. After he spent time researching how the homeless people in New York spent their days, he realized that laundromats play a key factor as layover spaces for those without shelter.
"...You can clean your laundry, fill your water bottles, find an electrical outlet to plug in a computer or phone, take a bird bath, take a dump ... rest for a good few hours and not get hassled," Gazit said of laundromats, per the Guardian.
After that, the connection was intuitive, and he set out to trial-cook his first meal in a washing machine. While his meal (a Tupperware container filled with pasta and green beans) wasn't exactly fantastic, he persisted, believing that he could achieve his dream.
"I was inspired by the craze of sous vide cooking, where food is vacuum-sealed and immersed in hot water for long periods of time," Gazit told the Guardian. "But rather than cooking a piece of meat at 136.4F for two and a half hours, you could just set your washing machine to ‘synthetics’ for a long cycle. For vegetables, you could set it to a short hot ‘cotton’ program."
While Gazit hasn't yet succeeded in finding a foolproof method of cooking meals in laundromats, his idea certainly brings to light the struggles many people face every day simply to survive, and reminds us of our social duty to actively try to help those in less fortunate circumstances than we find ourselves.