Jihyun Ryou, a graduate of the Dutch Design Academy Eindhoven, presented her innovative project ‘Save the Food From the Fridge’ as part of some lectures at the University of Gastronomic Sciences.
It is after seeing an advertisement for Chiquita, which suggested that bananas should not be stored in the fridge, that Jihyun Ryou began to think about the omnipresence of this household appliance in our daily diet.
In fact, nearly all the fresh food that we buy will be stored here: fruits, vegetables, eggs, etc. Without even stopping to wonder whether this is necessary.
Upon further research, Jihyun realized that several fruits and vegetables spoil in very cold temperatures and therefore in the fridge.
For example, aubergines start to lose their nutritional value below 8oC, so their ideal storage temperature should be between 8 to 12oC. Yet I’m sure that most of us – yes, me too! – store them in the fridge. It’s purely out of habit, because it’s so much simpler to just keep everything in the same place. However, peppers, zucchinis, potatoes and several other vegetables all decay much faster in the cold.
Jihyun thus asked herself: given that 60 years ago, most people didn’t own a fridge yet, how did they manage to preserve food?
This question led her to travel all over the world to meet farmers, grandmothers etc. who were eager to share all their knowledge with her.
Inspired by all these long-forgotten preservation techniques, Ms. Ryou felt it was absolutely necessary to use this knowledge, that had until now only been passed on orally, before it vanished permanently.
This is how the aptly-named project, Shaping Oral Tradition Knowledge was born.
Designer by training, she has created a range of the most innovative shelves for storing food under optimal conditions, without resorting to modern technology (the fridge) but instead by honoring some old-fashioned methods.
For example, the very neatly mounted storage unit “Symbiosis of apples and potatoes”, takes advantage of the fact that ethylene produced by apples keeps potatoes from sprouting and thereby preserves them for a longer period. Moreover, it is designed to conceal the potatoes, best kept in the dark, leaving the apples visible so that their beautiful colors brighten up the kitchen.
Still fascinated by the subject, Jihyun has created a website where all Internet users can share their knowledge about preserving food other than in the fridge. Do you have any unusual tips for storing your food? Also take part in the discussion!