Could this 5-by-5 inch piece of paper reduce food waste by 25 percent?
Whether people’s eyes are too big for their stomachs or just too ambitious for their cooking skills, we’re all constantly buying fruit and veg that gets left to grow fuzz in the crisper. All told, spoiled food accounts for 25 percent of all food waste. But supposedly, this tiny sheet of paper will end all that.
It’s called FreshPaper, it’s 5 inches on a side — about the size of a dryer sheet — and it’s infused with botanical extracts that supposedly make produce last up to four times longer. You just throw one little sheet in your crisper drawer, and it inhibits bacteria, fungi, and degrading enzymes for two to three weeks.
I kind of feel like I have to see a double-blind study if I’m going to believe this works. It sounds suspiciously like a scheme cooked up by people who store their razorblades under a pyramid to keep them sharp — although one of the founders is a doctor, so you have to give that some credit. But if it’s a mirage, it’s a particularly good-hearted one, since manufacturer Fenugreen uses profits from the sale of FreshPaper ($4.99 for eight sheets at Whole Foods) to supply the product free of charge to people living without refrigeration. For every pack sold, the company donates one to a food bank or nonprofit in a developing country. If it works as well as advertised, this is amazing! And if it doesn’t, I guess it doesn’t hurt.