Today in Weird Science I May Never Understand…

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As an always-on-the-go 20-something food publicist, I eat an equal number of meals in restaurants as I do in my own apartment.

I can’t complain about dining out for a living (although the resulting doubled gym time can be hard to maintain!), but I will say that the perishables in my fridge tend to, well, perish due to my neglect when eating at restaurants. A lot of sniffing, poking and staring results as I do my best to determine whether or not the week-old ground chicken and last month’s Greek yogurt in my fridge will poison me upon consumption.

The good news? I haven’t given myself food poisoning yet (KNOCK ON WOOD!). The bad news? I throw away a whole lot of food that could be perfectly okay.

The solution? UK Design Student Solveiga Pakstaite has created bio-reactive food labels made with gelatin-based bumps that disintegrate at the same rate as the food within their packaging. According to Fast Company, when the gelatin label becomes runny, a hard ridge under the label is revealed, evidence that the food is no longer at its prime.

Science isn’t exactly my strong suit (understatement of the century), but Pakstaite’s logic makes some serious sense. “Gelatin is protein, so it decays at the same rate as protein-based foods,” Pakstaite explained to Fast Company. “The label copies what the food in the package is doing.”

Right now, a patent is pending and Pakstaite’s idea is an entry in the 2014 Dyson Awards. Man, it sure will be nice to stop over-smelling my expired proteins once these babies hit shelves!

Posted by Mary

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