Food waste is a major problem in the Westernized world, with tons of perfectly good produce being thrown away simply because it has past its ‘best before’ date. Now, new type of labels, made of gelatin, might change that, as they will degrade along with the product.
With climate change threatening world’s food resources, it is no longer only the eco-cautious people, who care about unnecessary food waste. Governmental and intergovernmental organizations, including the UN, put huge investments into research and development of new food-security related techniques and practices. Yet, the statistics show that an average person still throws away as much as 20 pounds of food per month.
Over the past few months, we covered quite a number of success stories, where people not only say they want to make a difference, but they actually do it. There were the two restaurants Silo and Skipchen, the former being the first zero-waste restaurant in the UK, and the latter, using perfectly good, yet thrown away food. There were also supermarket chains and various campaigns, all dedicated to minimizing food waste.
However, it seems that here the same rule applies as with viruses. If the problem is treated only when the symptoms occur, and it is not addressed at the source, it persists for a long time and keeps spreading. In the same way, most initiatives handle food waste once it is generated, rather than prevent it from happening at the first place.
This is where a brilliant suggestion by a London-based designer can come into play and change the entire practice of throwing away perfectly good food. Solveiga Pakstaite, a winner of the prestigious James Dyson Award, designed the Bump Mark, a special food label, which ‘expires’ together with the product that it belongs to.
Made of different layers of plastic and gelatin, Bump Mark can be used on any type of food. By adjusting the amount of gelatin to the specific product, the bio-reactive label degrades naturally with the same rate leaving only a few remaining bumps when the food is unsuitable for consumption.
This highly effective yet simple technology could prevent tons of unnecessary waste. Let’s hope we will see it being put into practice soon.
Image (c) James Dyson Awards