Food waste is sadly out of hand in nations where food is readily available, and we all know it's an issue. But when it comes to doing something about it most of us are at a loss. One company in London has a product that may just help everyone out.
The product is appropriately named the "It's Fresh! filter." According to its website, the filter (which comes in the form of transit sheets, pads or labels) absorbs and locks in ethylene, the ripening hormone emitted by fresh produce. After the filter is inserted in the pack with the produce, it immediately begins absorbing the ethylene. It's Fresh! calls the effect of the filter a "Freshasphere," meaning that it creates an atmospheric barrier around fruit and vegetables to keep them from going bad.
The filters can be used all the way from the beginning of the supply cycle, being packed in with the produce until it makes its way all the way into the home of the consumer.
One London restaurant is putting this innovative new product to use already. Evening Standard reports that popular London mini-chain Canteen has been using the spongy filter to slow the ripening of fruit and vegetables at the restaurant, and is urging other restaurants to follow their example. The product is said to be able to extend the shelf-life of our favorite fruit and veggies by up to four days! This can make a huge difference in curbing food waste and makes the entire process of distributing produce more practical.
The co-founder of the Canteen restaurant says that it's up to the entire food industry to address the growing concern of food waste. "For every meal eaten in a UK restaurant, nearly half a kilo of food is wasted -- through preparation, spoilage and what's left behind on the plate."
The number sounds shocking, but it shouldn't be. Think about how much food you personally buy and end up throwing out. The same goes for restaurants, but on a much larger scale. “Reducing food waste makes business and ethical sense for restaurants," said Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, per Evening Standard.
Using It's Fresh! filters has helped Canteen cut down on food waste without changing the way their business operates. Hopefully, other restaurants will see how much of a positive impact this product can make and will follow suit.