Regardless of how many pleas and tries there have been to reduce food waste, some amount of fruits and vegetables, no matter how small, always ends up in the bin. There are ways in which this waste can be put into good use, and we have covered quite a number of them here. Some examples include composting relatively small amounts at home, while others offer solutions to large amounts of waste coming from restaurants and supermarkets.
A team of enthusiastic students from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam came up with something different. Driven by their urge to take care of the huge amount of food waste that is being thrown away by the local outdoor market, the guys began to work on the Fruit Leather Rotterdam project.
They developed a method to produce a new material from the fruit and vegetable left-overs. As the name of the initiative suggests, the new material is called “fruit leather“, and it is created by processing spoiled biological plant waste. This new type of vegan leather can be used to make all sorts of products, from handbags to furniture, and it can potentially have the same quality as its animal ancestor after a few more improvements are made.
The young designers have not yet released their precise method, I am guessing because of a patent or a possibility for commercializing the product, but in general it involves cleaning, mashing, boiling and then drying of the waste.
Food waste is a huge issue, and this is not only because it is disgraceful to throw away edible products, while people around the world die from starvation on daily basis. In fact, the abundance of fruits and vegetables is at risk, due to their constant need to compete for resources thanks to increased population, urbanization and of course changing climate.
Finding permanent solutions and constantly raising awareness about the importance of food waste and the consequences from it is the way to go. The fruit leather might actually be quite a suitable product for the job.
Image (c) Fruitleather Rotterdam