Fresh pods - Saving you time and moneyPublished: 05/03/2021
Do you know why your bananas turn from green to brown almost overnight whilst your apples sit happily in the fruit bowl for a week or so. Or why your lettuce goes limp within days, whilst your potatoes stay edible for quite a stretch?
Once harvested fruit and vegetables (and flowers too) are on a mission to ripen and get on with the job of reproducing - rotting down and letting go of their seeds. To be successful at this they all use a ripening hormone called ethylene gas, which they produce themselves and it helps them to speed up the ripening process.
All use the gas to great effect with some produce, predominantly fruit, giving off a lot more gas than others. Within the mix are many which are incredibly sensitive to the gas and are susceptible to ripening so fast they end up in landfill and not eaten as originally grown for.
So, sitting an ethylene predator like an apple next to a super sensitive banana or pear creates an uncomfortable environment in the fruit bowl. This is the reason bananas go brown quickly. The same can be said in the fridge when an avocado or tomato nestles up to a cucumber or lettuce in the salad draw.
The detrimental cost of food waste to the environment is considerable. It takes 822 litres of water to produce 1kg of apples, 790 litres for 1kg of bananas and 214 litres for 1kg of tomatoes. It is estimated between 30-50% of food produced does not even get eaten, that is up to 2 billion tonnes a year wasted.
WRAP research shows we now (2018) throw away 6.6 million tonnes of household food waste a year in the UK. Of the 6.6 million tonnes we throw away, almost three quarters (70% of the total) is food we could have eaten (4.5 million tonnes).
An untouched 4.4million apples, 1.2 million tomatoes and 0.9 million bananas are thrown away in the UK every day. Those figures could be reduced significantly if we stopped reading “best before” and “sell by” dates and started using our eyes, taste and smell senses, along with recognising ethylene is active in the home.
Whilst food waste reduction may not be high on the household agenda, consider a thought for the cost associated with waste. The average household throws away £470 a year, this increases to £700 for a family of four. Throwing away the cost of a holiday or a new piece of technology perhaps.
It is not always possible to store fresh fruit and vegetables separately. However, removal of ethylene from the environment will stop ripening in its track keeping produce fresh, crisp and tastier for longer whilst slowing down the loss of essential nutrients.
Fresh Pod technology works across the food chain from grower right through to the end user – the consumer, removing 99% of Ethylene from commercial storage or the fridge and fruit bowl in the home. Completely safe, natural and recyclable, it can extend the life of fruit and vegetables by up to four times meaning produce gets eaten and not thrown away.
Our Waste and Recycling Education Officer Claire, trialled Fresh Pods and this is what she had to say:
"Being a household of four with two growing children we go through a lot of fruit and veg in a week but we do find that some goes off quicker than others, and in the past have had to throw out food due to it going off. So when I was introduced to this product I thought I would give it a go. I am from a science background so am always very keen to try out new products that come to the market to see if they really do work. I was dubious at first as Fresh Pod stated that they could extend the product life of fruits and vegetables by up to 4 times!
To use the Fresh Pod I simply placed the the small plastic pod into my fridge and fruit bowl. The pods contained a sachet of organically approved pellets which were the size of a teabag. Each sachet lasts 6 months and when the time comes for the sachet to be changed the contents make a fantastic fertiliser that you can use to feed your house plants!
I am thrilled to say that it really does work. My fruits and vegetables are staying fresher and lasting a lot longer. I am wasting hardly any fresh fruit and veg and we are not shopping as much therefore saving money and time. This has definitely been invaluable in recent times when we've been unable to get to the shops as much as we usually do. We can also stock up on fresh produce safe in the knowledge that it will stay fresher for longer.
I would definitely say, give it a go if you can, you will notice the difference in the first week and will be amazed at how much you're saving."
Find out more about Fresh Pods