In a previous post on the problem of global food waste, I admitted that the very first place to eliminate food waste is in your own kitchen.
I have a bad habit of seeing so much wonderful produce at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market that I tend to overbuy on Saturday mornings. I also try to excuse myself by the thought that a larger variety of veggies fuels my creativity. After all, how can I invent new dishes using ramps or oyster mushrooms if I don’t have any in my fridge?
I’ve tried a number of different ways of extending the life of my fruits and veggies, but haven’t really found anything that worked well – until now. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical when I first read about FreshPaper. How could a simple piece of paper coated with organic spices keep my produce fresh for a longer period of time?
I watched founder Kavita Shukla’s TEDx video, and was impressed by the simplicity and originality of her idea. Instead of using plastic bags or chemicals, why not turn to organic spices like fenugreek that have anti-microbial properties which retard bacterial and fungal growth?
This low tech, simple solution has worked surprisingly well in my own kitchen. I’m no scientist, but I did my own little experiment with a “control” group. I simply put a single sheet of FreshPaper in each of the three crisper drawers in my refrigerators about two weeks ago, and left my other two crisper drawers with produce in plastic bags as usual. All of the veggies and fruits in the crisper drawers with FreshPaper seem significantly fresher and are still perfectly edible. Alas, almost all of the produce in the “control” group is now destined for my compost pile.
Each sheet of FreshPaper should last 3-4 weeks in the fridge. When you can no longer smell the pleasant maple scent of the spices, the paper is no longer active. And because it is compostable and biodegradable, I can put the paper right in my compost pile – along with the aging veggies in my control group.
25% of our world’s food supply is lost to spoilage. That is a staggering amount of wasted food on both a local and a global basis. And if I’m wasting 25% of the money I spend on fresh produce, I’m throwing away a significant amount of money on a yearly basis.
Here’s a quote from FreshPaper’s website: “The societal and environmental costs of food waste are staggering… 100 million acres of wasted farmland. $450 billion in economic losses. Countless gallons of wasted water and fuel.”
Please give it a try and let me know if your results are similar to mine. You can get FreshPaper on Amazon, and of course, on their website, where you can get 10% off your first order and free shipping.
And I think I’m ordering a fridge magnet, too. Gotta love their mission!