You know what’s the worst?
When you go to buy avocados and discover them in a pitiful bin, all brown and shriveled together like they took a vow en masse to spoil and ruin your Taco Tuesday plans.
What upsets me more than their dive to the dark side is the fact that they’ll never get used, only discarded in the trash.
What if there were something we could do about the avocado-ripening travesty that constantly plagues us?
Enter the folks over at a startup called Apeel Sciences who are actually doing something about the shelf life of avocados and their produce aisle friends.
For six years, Apeel Sciences has been working to make all of our wildest avocado-preserving dreams a reality.
But truth be told, avocados are only the beginning of this magnificent sorcery.
The company has engineered a plant-based coating that extends the shelf life of produce. The coating is applied to the exterior of produce via dunking or rinsing.
The coating keeps fruits and vegetables fresh for up to three times longer.
It’s like pressing the slo-mo button on your phone, but for ripening produce.
Is Apeel Safe to Eat?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified it as GRAS, or generally recognized as safe, which means yes.
The special coating is made out of lipids and glycerolipids, which are found in peels, seeds and pulps of produce, according to Apeel’s website.
It’s not like the wax on apples. Apeel’s coating keeps moisture in and oxygen out instead of using wax or refrigeration to extend life. You won’t be able to taste, smell or see the coating.
Plus, it’s allergen-free, so have no fear, friends.
Apeel avocados are already on the shelves at Costco and Harps Food stores across the Midwest. Just look for the Apeel section, and get ready to wait a week — or three — for your avocados to spoil.
The startup’s CEO, James Rogers, told The Washington Post that customers don’t pay more for the service because grocers save money due to reduced spoilage.
Why We Should All Care About the Shelf Life of Produce
Reducing food waste has become a global concern, but despite our best intentions, food just spoils on its own internal clock.
How many fruits and veggies have gone bad under your watch this year? Too many, I’m sure. Me, too. (Please forgive me, strawberries. If I only had a few more days with you.)
But we’re not alone. An expert we spoke with recently estimates that the average household wastes $1,800 every year on food they never eat.
Reducing food waste could create a chain reaction of savings for consumers, retailers, farmers and keep food out of landfills.
In turn, transportation costs, packaging waste, wastewater, fertilizer and food spoilage would all be reduced. That’s huge.
Apeel says it has successfully delayed ripening processes on apples, artichokes, asparagus, bananas, bell peppers, blueberries, cherries, green beans, lemons, mangos, radishes, strawberries and tomatoes.
Avocados could be the first step in what could be a breakthrough in the sustainable future of food.
I just have one more question: Does it work on human skin? Asking for a friend.
Stephanie Bolling is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Today she learned that “alligator pear” is another name for an avocado.
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