One of the world’s greatest problems is the amount of trash, specifically plastic waste, we have in our landfills. A great contributor to this plastic waste epidemic is the unnecessary packaging that surrounds our food. When you visit a grocery store, you will find products that have natural casings in other unnatural casings. For example, a banana has a banana peel but you may still find that banana wrapped in plastic.

Harvard professor David Edwards has decided to tackle this plastic waste issue head on, with a new and eco-friendly solution. Edwards has introduced the eco-friendly and edible food packaging known as the WikiPearl. The WikiPearl has been created to protect food from germs and dirt, while eliminating the need for extra packaging. The product is still in the early forms of trial, but so far it can protect food items such as yogurt, cheese, fruits and vegetables.

The food on the inside of the WikiPearl is referred to as the “heart” while the wrap on the outside is known as the “skin”. The skin is made up of edible, natural and biodegradable nutrients, which can be broken down easily in a landfill or simply eaten by the consumer. The skin on the WikiPearl is defined as : “a protective electrostatic gel formed by harnessing interactions between natural food particles, nutritive ions and a polysaccharide.”

The skin helps the food inside stay safe and unharmed from any bacteria because it is more impermeable to water and oxygen than other available edible skins. The skin not only cuts down on packaging waste but it also cuts down on the use of silverware. The skin can encase single serving yogurt pods, eliminating the need for a spoon. You can think of the WikiPearl like the outer edge of a hard boiled egg with the yolk being the “heart.”

Currently, the WikiPearl is in partnership with Stonyfield, a natural and organic yogurt company and it is available for purchase in four different Whole Food stores in Massachusetts. The edible, nutritious, tasty and eco-friendly WikiPearls are perfectly proportioned and portable. If you are the type of person who likes to eat on the go without having to eat unhealthy foods with unnecessary packaging, WikiPearls may be the perfect product for you.

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