-Kathi Wall, Program Director
I am not a “Fast Food Fan” moreover, I am a fan of slow, sometimes REALLY slow food. I cook in iron pots and pans, start from scratch with the freshest ingredients I can find. I’m NOT a gourmet cook …. I strive only for CLEAN, HEALTHY cooking.
On the other hand, I acknowledge the reality of fast foods and processed foods in our current culture, and condemn the resulting plastic containers and utensils that end up in the trash.
-Excerpt from Food Packaging: Have Your Cake and Eat the Wrapper, Too by Mary Beth Albright, National Geographic.
“Food packaging tops the list of Things You Don’t Think About But Mess With Your Day, like broken zippers. Much to their credit, food companies spend a lot of time thinking about packaging as a way to communicate a company’s brand and make consumers love their products. In addition, packaging provides consumers’ first and last impressions of a product. It can enhance, or ruin, a consumer experience.
With consumers ever more obsessed with sleek technology, curbing food waste, and minimizing health risks to themselves and the environment, food packaging is undergoing a research renaissance. Advances in food packaging technology will make food storage and preparation simpler.
This short article will introduce you to only one of these advances … you can read about others here.
Edible packaging has been on designers’ minds since 1965 when Willy Wonka bit into his teacup in the Everything Edible Room. 2015’s version is from KFC (yes, the fried chicken chain). This year Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is trying an edible coffee cup experiment in the U.K. “Made from a hard cookie lined with heat-resistant white chocolate, the cup is KFC’s answer to reducing its landfill waste,” states Mary Beth Albright in her article, Food Packaging: Have Your Cake and eat the Wrapper Too.
Last year, Stonyfield Organic introduced frozen yogurt “pearls” at four Whole Foods locations using WikiCells edible food wrappers, which were developed by Harvard scientist David Edwards. The skin has no flavor and can be rinsed and
eaten with the yogurt (much like a grape) or it will break down quickly if peeled off and thrown away, eliminating the need for plastic spoons or wrappers on the go.
In addition, Loliware has sold gelatin-based edible drinking cups for two years, in flavors like Madagascar vanilla and tart cherry. Summer is a perfect time to break these out for cocktails. And edible cupcake wrappers were introduced last year too, made from potato starch”.