Design to the rescue of food
There's nothing appetizing about a limp carrot at the bottom of a vegetable bin. What's worse, it will most likely end up in the compost instead of as part of a meal. The founders of Montréal design studio Jarre, Gabrielle Falardeau et Élyse Leclerc, believe this kind of food waste can easily be avoided by keeping fruits and vegetables outside the refrigerator.
“We have nothing against refrigerators, but fruits and vegetables are beautiful, so it’s a shame to hide them. And, once you buy them, they still need care!” says Falardeau. In particular, they need water, air and darkness.
Our ancestors understood this, and their techniques inspired the two 27-year-old designers to create La Denise, a cabinet with three detachable modules that enable you to keep vegetables longer than you'd be able to with a refrigerator.
The first compartment is a ceramic container with wooden slats where you can place fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, pears, zucchini and peaches. You just have to water them once a day to hydrate them and maintain their culinary pleasure.
"Most people keep their tomatoes in the refrigerator, but the cold kills their flavour," says Falardeau.
The second module of La Denise is a bin filled with sand in which root vegetables such as leeks, carrots and shallots are inserted vertically. This maintains their humidity level and original flavour.
The last compartment is for potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions. It's a drawer with aeration holes that keeps light away from these vegetables. Apples can be placed on top of this compartment, as they keep for longer when placed near potatoes.
La Denise can be easily installed on the wall and is particularly attractive for families as a way to encourage children to choose healthy after-school snacks.
"When we have fruits and vegetables close at hand, we think more frequently about eating them," says Falardeau.
La Denise is not for every budget, however. Each module costs between $200 and $400, while the entire unit costs $860. The young design studio also offers more affordable ceramic containers, such as a Breton butter dish and a garlic jar—available in Montréal's Code Souvenir design catalogue. And where are these containers placed? Outside the fridge, of course!
The Code Souvenir catalogue, which was created by the Bureau du design de Montréal, aims to promote Montréal creativity through city-themed souvenirs. It is the result of a call for proposals from Montréal designer-producers and publishers.
CODE is an acronym for City Of Design and represents the unique character of a city. It's an original idea from Raban Ruddigkeit at the Berlin agency ®ruddigkeit corporate ideas.