Fresh Paper

What a bummer when you open your fridge door to find that your container of organic strawberries has started to rot. You likely go through a mini guilt trip, kicking yourself for not eating those berries before Mother Nature took over.

When you work hard to buy organic food, shop at your local farmers markets and compost what you can, wasting food by not eating it before it goes bad makes YOU feel pretty darn bad. It’s wasted money and wasted resources.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about one-third of food or 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted annually. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that in 2010 the U.S. alone generated more than 34 million tons of food waste, which was the largest component of municipal solid waste clogging up landfills across the nation. Just think how much food went to landfills instead of hungry bellies! It makes you feel ashamed for throwing out that wilting lettuce now, huh?

Luckily, you can avoid the food waste guilt by using FreshPaper, a new handy product that keeps food fresh longer—and it’s even organic!

This biodegradable paper made from organic ingredients including spices and botanicals, keeps produce fresh two to four times longer than its usual edible life. FreshPaper sheets look like smaller, more square paper towels. The special combination of organic ingredients that make up FreshPaper work like refrigeration to prevent spoiling by inhibiting bacterial and fungal growth. FreshPaper also hinders enzymes that cause over-ripening in produce.

To use FreshPaper, simply place a single sheet in a refrigerator drawer, in a fruit bowl on the counter or wherever you store produce. When used with a fruit bowl or other open container, place the FreshPaper sheet directly underneath the fruits or veggies. A single sheet will keep a drawer, bowl, bag or carton full of fruits and veggies fresh for longer.

You can tell a FreshPaper sheet is working by the distinctive maple-like scent it emits. The scent comes from the edible organic ingredients that FreshPaper is made from. One of the active ingredients in FreshPaper, fenugreek, is even used in maple syrup flavoring. When the scent starts to fade, simply replace the sheet with another and compost or recycle the used one.

Keep in mind that FreshPaper won’t restore already decaying fruit to its former freshness. FreshPaper doesn’t contain harsh chemicals that kill off bacteria that cause spoiling; it just prevents them.

Want to try out FreshPaper in your fridge? Buy it online or look for it at a health food store or co-op near you.

Follow Kirsten on Twitter @kirsten_hudson

Image: fenugreen