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Packaging Never Tasted So Good: The Brave, New World of Edible Wrappers

A gazpacho-stuffed tomato membrane? If edible packaging catches on, it could transform the way we eat—and how much plastic we waste.

Some people have a lot of ideas. Inventor and chemical engineer David Edwards chronicles the ones he makes happen on his personal website—everything from text books he's written to new companies he's started. In the past, he figured out a way to make and sell "breathable" food, but his latest idea, and the startup he founded to commercialize it, is one that actually may change the way we eat.


WikiCells is a form of edible packaging that will attempt to eliminate society's wasteful addiction to packaging—millions of tons worth end up in landfills each year, according to the EPA. According to the new venture's website, the idea for WikiCells is rooted in the way nature has always delivered nutrients: in a digestible skin "held together by healthy ions like calcium." Apples, potatoes, tomatoes: they all have an edible exterior that protects the treat within. Even something that isn't exactly delicious—like a citrus peel—finds its way into the kitchen in the form of zest.

"This soft skin may be comprised primarily of small particles of chocolate, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, or many other natural substances with delicious taste and often useful nutrients," writes the WikiCells team. "Inside the skin may be liquid fruit juice, or thick pudding." So far Edwards and his collaborators—chief among them the industrial designer François Azambourg—have experimented with a gazpacho-stuffed tomato membrane, a wine-filled grape-like shell, and an orange juice-laden orb with a shell that tastes like, you guessed it, an orange. Possibilities like an edible milk bottle or yogurt container are not out of the question.

This summer WikiCells plans to market ice cream in an edible shell to a French audience—a high-tech version of something the Japanese have long enjoyed: ice cream-stuffed mochi.

Image courtesy of WikiCells

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Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

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"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

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Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

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via I love butter / Flickr

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"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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