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Friday, November 23, 2012

FreshPaper in Gizmag!

Fenugreen FreshPaper, FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fenugreen, Gizmag

Fenugreen FreshPaper, FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fenugreen, Gizmag
Fenugreen FreshPaper

Spicy paper claimed to keep fruits and veggies fresh longer

By
November 20, 2012

FreshPaper is herb-infused paper, that is claimed to prolong the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables

While we all know how important it is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, it can often be difficult to use all that we buy before they spoil. A product known as FreshPaper, however, is claimed to keep such foods fresh two to four times longer than normal – and it does so just using spices.

Fenugreen FreshPaper, FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fenugreen, GizmagThe proprietary mix of organic spices infused in every paper sheet was discovered by inventor Kavita Shukla, when she paid a visit to her grandmother in India. It turned out that her grandmother’s family had been using the formulation for generations, to prolong the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Although the exact ingredients are a trade secret, the fact that Shukla’s company is called Fenugreen points to the fact that fenugreek is one of them.

The sheets themselves can just be placed in the bottom of a fruit bowl, fridge drawer, or anywhere else that fresh produce is being stored. The produce itself is then placed directly onto the sheet, the herbs in which reportedly inhibit bacterial and fungal growth.

As long as the sheet emits a maple-like odor, that means it’s active. After about two or three weeks, the smell will fade and the biodegradable sheet should be replaced.
Fenugreen FreshPaper, FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fenugreen, Gizmag
FreshPaper sells for US$4.99 for a pack of eight sheets, or $42.99 for ten eight-packs.

Article available online: http://www.gizmag.com/fenugreen-freshpaper/25111/

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

[IMAGE]: Announcing the "Buy a Pack, Give a Pack" initiative


This holiday season, we'll match every purchase "pack for pack"
with a donation of FreshPaper to a local food bank,
beginning with those in communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.

 
Friends of Fenugreen,

Today, we're excited to announce the "Buy a Pack, Give a Pack" initiative.


For every single pack of FreshPaper purchased this holiday season - from Thanksgiving until New Year's Day - we'll donate a pack to a local food bank.​

We've always hoped that one day, we would be able to get FreshPaper to those who need it most, and thanks to your support & encouragement, we're now on our way. We're so grateful to each & every one of you.

One by one, sheet by sheet, we're getting closer to "Fresh for All."
Thank you so much.

 
        
(...or, Find a Store near you!)

As we sit down for dinner, we're reminded of how fresh food brings people together - wishing you & yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Warmly,
The Fenugreen Team


[IMAGE: Sheet by sheet, we're getting closer to "Fresh for All"]

Saturday, November 17, 2012

FreshPaper in Fast Company!


Fenugreen FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fast Company
Fenugreen FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fast Company

By Whitney Pastorek, Published: November 15, 2012

We’ve all done it: We come home from the grocery store with armfuls of fresh fruits and veggies, only to sadly throw out whatever’s wilting in the crisper a week later. Or we excitedly collect our produce box from the local CSA, then suffer a massive anxiety attack while trying to eat everything before it goes bad. In countries where refrigeration is scarce, the problem of how to keep the available produce fresh from farm to fork is obviously much, much worse. All in all, spoilage contributes to about a third of the global food supply going to waste each year, stuffing landfills while leaving hungry mouths empty.

Kavita Shukla didn’t set out to solve this problem. In fact, she was in middle school when she had the brainstorm that led to the invention of Fenugreen FreshPaper, small squares of spice-infused paper that can extend the shelf life of produce up to four times longer than usual. Like so many innovations, this one has a great origin story: Shukla, who immigrated to the U.S. with her parents as a toddler, had gone back to India to visit her grandmother, and accidentally drank some tap water while brushing her teeth. “I really started to freak out that I would get sick,” she says. “My grandma went in the kitchen, and she mixed up this solution of different herbs and spices, and she said, ‘Just drink this and you’ll be fine.’ I was really skeptical, but I drank it. And I didn’t get sick. And then I got really curious about how it worked.” Shukla spent high school “meticulously” rotting fruits and vegetables (“which obviously made me really popular,” she laughs), and eventually came up with the idea of fusing the preventative mixture into paper. She patented the concept of FreshPaper her senior year.

The exact blend of herbs and spices used in FreshPaper is proprietary, of course, and the only ingredient Shukla will reveal is fenugreek, a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. (It also provides the name of her company.) So how does it work? “It basically works by inhibiting bacterial and fungal growth, as well as the enzymes that cause fruit to over-ripen,” Shukla explains. “The concept is that you can just drop a sheet into a drawer or carton. Sometimes people put it into a fruit bowl. Our customers call it a ‘dryer sheet for produce.’” Each certified organic and biodegradable sheet lasts about two to three weeks, until its distinctive maple-like scent begins to fade. “That’s how you know it’s no longer active,” Shukla explains.
Fenugreen FreshPaper, Fresh Paper, Fast Company
Initially, Shukla toyed with the idea of turning FreshPaper into a nonprofit focused on food spoilage in the developing world, but as a college student inexperienced in the complexities of philanthropic work, she had little success. “I started to doubt myself,” she says. “Even people with the best intentions were saying, you know, ‘Maybe you should move beyond what you worked on in high school.’” After graduation, she got a job doing research, but she couldn’t stop thinking about FreshPaper, and in 2010, she decided to launch Fenugreen as a social enterprise. “My co-founder and I set up a stall at a farmer’s market,” she says. “We handmade a batch of FreshPaper, and started handing out sheets. And although not a lot of people stopped by and listened to us that first time, we were amazed by the reaction of the few people who did. I think we realized that spoilage is a big problem even in our own backyard, which is something I never understood.”

FreshPaper recently became available at Whole Foods, a significant jump in distribution that’s allowed Shukla to start something she’s dreamed of all along: A “get one, give one” program benefiting local food banks, starting with those affected by Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey. Shukla says the brand has grown entirely by word of mouth, and credits much of this grassroots energy to increased environmental awareness in consumers. “As we start to learn more about what’s going on with food waste, we realize that there’s water involved, there’s energy costs, land, resources, that go into creating the food that we eat,” she says. “And with the economy, people are becoming much more conscious of being wasteful at home, because they know not only are they struggling, but there are people in the U.S. that have no access to fresh food at all. It seems that everyone is coming to understand the importance of buying less or conserving what we have, and how that fits into the larger food crisis.”

Next, Shukla would like to expand into school lunch programs, and eventually start working with NGOs and small-scale farmers in developing nations. “We’re starting to understand just how much a one- to two-day extension of shelf life could change the lives of people in those regions,” she says. She especially relishes the notion of bringing FreshPaper “full-circle” to India, and although her grandmother passed away a few years after sharing her secret blend, Shukla says she’s been amazed at the support she’s gotten from her family in India, as well as other ethnic communities around the world. “It’s really incredible how many people have come up to me and said, ‘Oh, my grandmother in China …’ or ‘My grandma in Africa would have these mixtures, and now I’m thinking I should have paid attention!’” she says. “My grandma didn’t even have a high school education. She came from a pretty poor background. I just remember I thought it was remarkable that she had this knowledge that had been passed down through her family, and I was fascinated by the idea that something so simple could have actually kept me from getting really sick.

“Sometimes,” she says, “simple can be so powerful.”

This piece is part of Change Generation, our series on young, change-making entrepreneurs. Just how much of a problem is wasted food? Read this infographic.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Vote!

Team Fenugreen is heading out to vote! Have you voted yet?