Museum of 21st Century Design
Image credit: Fresh Glow
Paper infused with organic spices (including fenugreek) that inhibit bacterial & fungal growth, as well as enzymes that cause over-ripening.
Made in the USA; Ongoing research into the working conditions of manufacturing and distribution.
Kavita Shukla and the entire Fresh Glow team.
Help fight food waste, especially food waste created in the home.
$9.95 for eight sheets of FreshPaper in the USA as of November 2022. (Each sheet lasts about four weeks.) It is also available for purchase in 109 countries.
FreshPaper was designed for global use with the intention of supporting people without access to refrigerators or alternative means of food preservation.
FreshPaper is recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.
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Designing Modern Products with Family Recipes
Food waste negatively impacts individuals, societies, and environments, because the resources required to grow, harvest, distribute, and purchase unused food products results in no tangible benefits. And those investments are significant. At least 931 million tons of food is wasted every year and 8-10% of global carbon emissions are linked to unconsumed produce, according to the UN Food Waste index Report from 2021. 61% of this waste results from households, 26% from food service, and 13% from retail. Moreover, uneaten food burdens waste management systems
FreshPaper is positioned to help fight food waste, especially food waste created in the home. The paper is infused with fenugreek and other herbs, which prolong the freshness of vegetables and fruits, even when refrigeration isn’t possible.
Kavita Shukla, the inventor of FreshPaper, has shared the origin story far and wide. She grew up in Germany and the USA, and, when she visited her grandmother in India as a 12-year-old, she accidentally brushed her teeth with tap water — something potentially harmful for those unaccustomed to bacteria found in India. Her grandmother gave her tea spiced with fenugreek to counteract the mistake, and Shukla avoided becoming ill. When Shukla returned home to the USA, she began experimenting with the spices to extend the freshness of fruits. Now, people can purchase packs of FreshPaper online and at local grocery stores in many regions of the world.
You can hear her tell the story yourself:
Although the company that manufactures FreshPaper claims the product doubles or quadruples the time all fruits and vegetables stay fresh, there are some questions. In 2013, Consumer Reports verified FreshPaper’s claim to be accurate in the case of strawberries but not in any of the other plants it tested. Amazon’s USA website sells FreshPaper, and customers have given the product an average rating of 4.3 out of 5. The consensus seems to be that air-tight refrigerated storage is the best option for fruits and vegetables; if that’s not available, FreshPaper can help.
Designing with Fenugreek
The herb fenugreek has long been a staple in Indian dishes for its nutty taste and consistency and Chinese medicinal traditions for an array of ailments, according to Healthline. Fenugreek seeds contain a good amount of fiber and minerals, including iron and magnesium. Utilizing fenugreek to protect the freshness of food outside of the human biome expands its already impressive resume.
FreshPaper and M21D
FreshPaper’s global accessibility, and its capability to reduce food and economic waste without damaging the environment makes it a promising candidate for the M21D design collection. The museum is eager to learn more about FreshPaper’s labor practices and its methods for sourcing ingredients.
Our Story, Fresh Grow
Kavita Shukla, MIT
Claim check: Fenugreen FreshPaper, Consumer Reports
Fenugreek: An Herb with Impressive Health Benefits, Healthline