A Big Fruit Filled Issue.
Every Tuesday and Saturday residents and visitors of Rotterdam enjoy the market at the Binnenrotte, Blaak. As the biggest outside market in the Netherlands this market also brings with it a big waste problem. Imperfect, damaged, and unsold fruit. A three-thousand-five-hundred-kilograms of it each market day kind of problem! A group of Rotterdam based designers, from the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam decided to tackle this fruity issue with a social awareness project. From this came a unique idea and ‘Original Rotterdam Fruitleather‘ and the Fruit Leather bag was born.
Food Isn’t Trash.
The vendors of the markets are required to pay 12 euro cents per kilogram to dispose of their non-salable produce. Some folks can’t afford (or don’t want to pay) to dispose of their goods the right way and illegally dump their market waste. Seeing potential to raise awareness of this waste stream issue the student designers collected market left-overs for months and trialled ways to turn the undesirable into something that makes a social statement and may offer the opportunity for a new textile industry. Using their collective design backgrounds the Original Rotterdam Fruitleather team found inspiration in gastronomy.
Chefs use different technics to create wonderful flavour experiences with fruits and vegetables using them to garnish their plates. One of those technics is to mash, cook and then dry fruits to make them into a candy like piece of fruit called fruit leather (which just so happens to be the yummiest snack ever). By producing this on large scale with the unsellable fruits from the market, a new kind of material was created.
While the idea of having a leather jacket made from left over fruit might be a little way off yet, the designers have achieved their goal to create awareness for the problem that is food waste, and show that there is an solution. It is hoped that the future holds an evolution of the material to increase is performance, quality and technical abilities and that fruit leather will be on our shelves in clothing and accessories format in our near future (instead of rotting in landfill facilities).
Todays Eco Living Tip
Believe it or not those black and sad looking bananas that were forgotten about in the fruit bowl make for great smoothies and banana bread. Don’t throw them away! If you don’t have time for smoothies or banana bread store them in the freezer for future use. You could even use them for this delicious banana ice-cream.
Do you think that fruit leather might be something you would include in your closet? Have you ever made your own fruit leather? Share your thoughts on this fruity invention below.