Can we still live without a refrigerator? The answer is yes, and without too much of an effort.
According to some designers, we can preserve food without a fridge, saving energy and exploiting the know-how of our ancestors.
In a contemporary kitchen, one appliance that’s a real must has to be the refrigerator: whether hidden and set inside the furniture or exhibited as an example of design, it really is always there, and living without it would seem practically unthinkable. But could we live without it? If we think about it, no more than sixty years ago our houses were still equipped with rooms that managed to preserve the freshness of our foodstuffs and fridges were totally superfluous.
And it’s this very reflection that’s led to interesting projects by several designers, who have figured out ways to preserve food without using electricity, because let’s bear in mind that refrigerators are appliances that run round the clock 7 days a week, with a clear waste of energy.
One project worth mentioning is “Save Food from the Fridge” by Korean designer Jihyun Ryou, who has designed eco-friendly containers that help preserve foodstuffs naturally. The basic idea of the design, which many consider an authentic revolution, is founded on research and studies around particular scientific theories and on solutions used by our ancestors. These containers have been personalised according to different needs and on the basis of the products to preserve. For example, carrots are preserved more effectively if placed vertically and put in wet sand. Peppers, courgettes and aubergines last longer if underneath we put a container with water, which can also turn out useful to test the freshness of eggs: if they’re fresh they sink, remaining in a horizontal position, while if they float, it means they’re older and should be consumed before the others. We at Modì have already given you tips on how to preserve apples for as long as possible: in a fresh place, better if placed on a soft surface and with the stem downwards. But our Modì apples, as Jihyun suggests, can actually help us preserve other products, such as potatoes, which in “Save the Food from the Fridge” are placed near apples because the ethylene gas produced by the latter slows down their germination.
Another worthy project to avoid the fridge and based on ancient knowledge is undoubtedly Freeijis, an all-Italian prototype from the mind of a very young student from Leghorn, Caterina Faleni, already winner of the prestigious Axelera Singularity Contest, a competition centred on Global Impact, thanks to her idea. Freeijis is a container designed with fruit and vegetables in mind. It is made of aluminium and terracotta, which form a refrigeration system that exploits the phase change properties of the two materials. A system already used by the ancient Egyptians. The two projects are aimed at promoting environmental awareness with what really is a new lifestyle, an issue we really care about here at Modì. Consider that we are committed every day to reducing our environmental impact with a lowering of up to 49% of Co2 emissions compared to other apple varieties “grown” at the same conditions.
Ooho: the water bottle without the bottle!
A solution to cut down on empty plastic bottles: it’s called Ooho, the water you can actually eat.
It was revealed at the Milan Furniture Exhibition only last month and it’s an idea we’re pretty sure will revolutionise Global Impact: a plastic bottle without the bottle, or, as we prefer to put it, the water you can eat.
The idea comes from three London students who were inspired by a specific technique used to shape liquids and by particular principles of molecular cooking. And here you have it, a transparent jelly you can keep in a bag that has the by no means simple aim to get rid of, or at least greatly reduce, the presence of empty water bottles in the environment.
The new creation is called Ooho, it’s hygienic, as it keeps the contents inside absolutely clean, and what’s more, you can eat it, because it’s made of seaweed and calcium chloride. You can eat it all, as we said, or you can pierce it, suck the contents and seal it with your lips, naturally, to close it and use it again. Expensive? Not at all, they only cost 2 eurocents each to produce.
The issue of Global Impact is one we at Modì care a lot about: as you probably know, Modì is the ultimate environment-friendly apple, thanks the innate resistance of our trees to the main pathogens and to integrated field production, which reduces man’s intervention in the growing process to a minimum. But there’s more, Modì’s commitment doesn’t end here: Modì is also the first apple to adopt the Carbon Footprint Measurement, carried out by the Science and Technology Faculty of Bolzano University, which certifies our apples’ CO2 emissions at 0.028 for every kilo produced in our orchards, with a reduction of 49% in greenhouse gases compared to other sample varieties at the same production conditions.
How, then, not to consider Ooho an invention of immense value? In the meantime this product has won the Lexus Design Award, the prestigious international design competition for a new generation of innovators from around the world. A truly deserved prize, we would add. Wouldn’t you say so too?
The top 10 essential kitchen utensils of all time
“Never without”: 10 essential kitchen utensils
I don’t know what I’d do without you… how many times have we said that? In the kitchen, that is.
Yes, because while we cook we perform our very own personal rites and rituals, which at times would seem impossible to us, or at least much more demanding, without the aid of our most trustworthy utensils. But there’s some we don’t even know exist! Here we go, then, with a list of the ten most essential kitchen utensils of all time: smart, strange, Green or designer utensils, these are the kitchen tools that will make you say with in a dreamy tone: “ah, I really don’t know what I’d do without you”, take Modì’s word for it.
Let’s start right away with a designer utensil: the Easy Cut breadboard by Eno. The difference with traditional breadboards is that, as you can imagine, with this one it’s impossible to get it wrong. What’s more, it’s designed in a Green spirit, being totally in wood, an extremely important feature for us at Modì, producers of the ultimate eco-friendly apple. Let’s not forget that Modì has lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 49% compared to other apple varieties grown under the same conditions.
Our second utensil is actually a set, especially thought out for younger chefs: Chewp is designed to help children approach the world of cooking. These tools are perfectly functional, but designed in such a way as to avoid any possible injuries.
And now, an object perfect for tea lovers, who will no longer need to worry about how to squeeze their teabags and putting them down somewhere without making a mess. Problem solved with Teasquee.
Let’s move on to desserts and an invention by Ivan Zhang: an egg whisk that separates the yolk and the white, a touch of genius!
Another indispensable kitchen utensil must be this pineapple cutter. Once you start using this very simple object, you’ll start wondering “how did I cope without it all this time?” You can find it online in various materials and on sale via a range of e-commerce sites.
Staying on the fruit theme, we bring your attention to an apple core remover (try it with our Modì apples): this too you’ll find on the Web in various shapes, materials and in a range of prices.
Number seven: an utensil that’s a real work of genius. Introducing ScrapTrap, the gadget that will help us keep cooking surfaces clean at all times. It can easily be positioned in the joints of our drawers and is of valuable help in waste separation.
For meat lovers, this very special thermometer is a must for your kitchen: ideal for barbecues, all you need to do is to stick it in the piece of meat you want to grill and decide the cooking level. This too you’ll find online from various producers.
With summer round the corner, don’t we all fancy some ice-cold cocktails? With Brrrrr it becomes easier to make them: this ice-cube container can be filled vertically, just like a bottle, and placed horizontally in your refrigerator. When the ice is ready, make the cubes come out by giving it a slight blow.
Let’s finish this review of “must have” kitchen utensils with some coffee: a handmade espresso with Rok Espresso Maker, which promises a perfect espresso every time you use it.
Music as “condiment”
Scientific research shows that music alters our perception of food
So, do you grate a little music on your pasta? Or what about a pinch of music in your coffee?
Yes, because a recent study by Oxford University reveals that musical notes, high and low, modify our perception of food.
A group of volunteers were offered some typically British cinder toffee, a dessert that, because of its composition, lends itself particularly well to this type of experiment,. As the volunteers savoured their toffees, high frequency sounds were emitted in the environment, immediately followed by low frequency ones. Participants were later asked to assess the flavour of what they had just tasted on a sweet to bitter scale: thanks to the results, researchers were able to conclude that high notes emphasise the bitter components of food, while low notes emphasise the sweet components.
But, we can safely say, Oxford isn’t alone in the world. Because researchers from the University of Arkansas also carried out a very similar project, publishing their results on Appetite magazine: in this case, a group of volunteers tasted several foods while listening to various musical genres, and form the results it seems clear that different musical styles have different influences on the way we perceive food. For example, jazz apparently makes chocolate more tasty, but has no effects on peppers.
These particular studies also explain why we prefer putting on some music while we eat, or why in an aeroplane, an environment with particularly tiresome noises, we perceive food as not very appetising, or even bad-tasting.
Obviously this kind of research is still very much in its early days, but we can bet on the fact that many food companies will be ready to perfect various techniques to make their products appeal more to our palates: like the famous American ice-cream chain, Ben & Jerry’s, which has already created an actual series of “musical flavours” associated to a QR code: in this case all you need to do is connect to the Internet with your smartphone and listen to the particular piece of music designed to enhance the flavour of your ice-cream.
At this point we can try it out by connecting to this link, perhaps while tasting our Modì apples, with their perfect balance between sweetness and sharpness. They would seem ideal for this kind of “experiment”. And then, please let us know the effect it had on you :)
Modì Apples: why you should eat them with the skin!
Properties of Modì apple skins
Perhaps not everyone knows that apples too, like many other fruits, should be eaten with the skin, because that’s where the main nutrients are found. Modì apples too, with their consistent yellow pulp, crispy and juicy, are best relished if you don’t peel them, for at least five good reasons.
The skin, as we said, possesses most of the fibres that are fundamental for our health. Consider that when an apple is peeled, it loses over half its fibres: a real shame for our intestines and physical shape.
Without the skin of the apple we can say goodbye to most of the vitamin content too: to give you an idea, when we peel an apple we lose substantial quantities of Vitamins A and C.
Not to mention those substances considered to be anticancer and which are contained precisely in the skin of the apple. They’re known as Triterpenoids and, according to several studies, they deactivate cancer cells in laboratory cultures, particularly those that develop in the colon, liver and breast.
What’s more, if you have memory problems, remember not to peel your apples, because the skin contains Quercetin, an antioxidant substance that protects our memory faculties and alleviates certain breathing problems.
And if weight is your main concern, it’s advisable you eat a little more and stop peeling your apples, because the ursolic acid contained in the skin is ideal for controlling your body weight, reducing the risks of excess weight and obesity. So, remember: Modì apples are always a healthy and nourishing snack, but with their skin they’re even better for you: So, clean them thoroughly and relish them to the fullest!