The busier you are, the more likely it is that there’s a forgotten apple or box of strawberries at the back of your fridge, slowly growing a fuzzy layer of mold. Most Americans throw out about 25% of the food we buy, and produce is at the top of the list. But a simple new device may help that food last as much as three times longer–long enough that, in theory, you’ll remember to eat it.
A heart-shaped plastic box, called the Green Heart, holds a small packet of potassium crystals, which suck up the gas that makes fruit ripen and eventually spoil. It’s not the same as the packets that you usually find in many boxes of fruits, which typically just absorb water and can’t make produce last quite as long.
“Florists and farmers have been using this technology on a broader scale for years,” says Tami Brehse from Ahdorma, the company that designed the Green Heart.
The refillable case makes the packets easier to use in a home refrigerator. “You can easily toss it in your produce drawer without worrying that the material will be spilled, creating a mess,” Brehse explains. “Most importantly, it’s child-friendly…The patent-pending container has child-safety tabs that ensure the Green Hearts are safe for use around kids with no danger of them swallowing the material inside.”
It’s a simple idea, but could make a difference in wasted food. “We were floored when we realized just how much perfectly good food goes to waste simply because it goes bad before people can eat it,” Brehse says. “Americans throw out some 35 billion tons of food every year. We knew there had to be a way to put a dent in the food waste epidemic.”
The product is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter (with, to be honest, one of the worst pitch videos we’ve seen in a while–but that doesn’t mean the product itself isn’t worth it).