Fresh produce may last longer when stored in the refrigerator, but its life-span is still pretty short. To combat this problem and help reduce food waste, Fenugreen, a social enterprise taking on the challenge of food waste, created FreshPaper, a spice-infused sheet of paper that can make fresh food last two to four times longer.
Kavita Shukla, the paper’s inventor, was inspired by the way her grandmother in India used traditional spices to prevent illness after Shukla accidentally drank some tap water. Her grandmother mixed up some spices into a tea for her to drink, and Shukla didn’t get sick. These spices have natural antifungal and antibacterial properties, and Shukla discovered they could be used in the kitchen to prevent food spoilage.
Each sheet of FreshPaper is a 5-inch square — described by some as a “dryer sheet for produce” — and can be used in the fridge or on the counter in your fruit bowl. The sheets are recyclable and compostable, eliminating even more potential waste.
According to Fenugreen, 25 percent of the global food supply is lost to spoilage, so the company’s mission is to make FreshPaper available to people in the developing world who lack refrigeration capabilities, as well as to food banks locally. For each FreshPaper pack purchased, Fenugreen donates a pack to one of these food banks.
FreshPaper recently won an INDEX: Award, a prestigious design award given to designs that improve life, for its new approach to taking on food waste.
FreshPaper can be purchased online or at retailers like Whole Foods Market. The sheets are sold in small packs ($5.95) or in bulk.