Finally, someone has come up with a solution to the ever-growing problem of turning the Earth into a giant wasteland for takeout containers and Snack Pack pudding cups: edible food containers. Imagine that!
Harvard professor David Edwards is working on a type of packaging called WikiCells, a project he began a few years ago after collaborating with French designer Francois Azambourg on an edible bottle. The bottle was designed with “natural” packaging, to replace artificial plastic and styrofoam packaging.
According to Professor Edwards, “The notion is that you are englobing liquid, foam, or something else in a soft membrane held together by food particles that are being connected by electrostatic charges to each other and to a small amount of natural polymer.”
If necessary, a harder, egg-like shell could surround the soft casing, perhaps made of algae, rock candy, or even chocolate. Obviously, these membranes could be created in a way that corresponds with the food it contains. Soups could be surrounded by basil or even cheese membranes, and yogurt or pudding surrounded by chocolate or fruit membranes.
Some of these have already been created, and even available for purchase at Lab Store Paris, if you’re feeling adventurous. He claims tastes are at a satisfactory level, but he’s still working on “stability in an uncontrolled environment and getting this out at scale.”
The first thing that comes to my mind is hygiene, but this wouldn’t be so bad if the membrane could be washed before consumption, similar to how you’d wash fruits or veggies. As long as it’s safe, I’m totally down with a pudding cup Snack Pack surrounded by an eco-friendly chocolate shell. Even if you don’t want to eat it, an easily biodegradable packaging is definitely a step in the right direction.