A family-taught home remedy is helping to tackle the problem of food waste.
When Kavita Shukla was still in high school, her grandmother gave her some 'spice tea' after Shukla accidentally drank some tap water. The old home remedy sparked Kavita's curiosity when she didn’t get sick and soon discovered the remedy doubled as a remarkably effective way to keep food fresh.
Shortly after, while still at high school, Kavita developed and patented Freshpaper, a low-cost, compostable paper infused with organic spices that inhibit bacterial and fungal growth.
The simple packaging design keeps produce fresh for 2-4 times longer and addresses the critical problem of food waste both in India and abroad. An estimated 40 percent of India's total produce is wasted on a yearly basis despite more than 250 million Indians going to bed hungy every night.
India's Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, recently told Parliament that agriculture produce to the amount of Rs. 50,000 crore is wasted each year and the majority of this relates to cereal, pulses, fruits and vegetables.
A lack of cold storage facilities and distribution lines connecting production and consumption hubs are leading causes of food wastage in India, and sustainable solutions, such as Freshpaper by Fenugreen, are urgently needed to rectify these issues and reduce the environmental degradation, social inequality and the health problems that result from it.
Author: Jo Wilkinson / RESET editorial