We package our food in all sorts of non-biodegradable solutions from wax coated cardboard, layers of plastics, and other materials. Some of the better solutions come from harvesting substances from nature, but many still come from pulling oil from deep in the earth, processing it and creating plastics. Nature however, as you might expect if you have read this blog before, encases its foods such as fruits and nuts in edible or biodegradable coverings.
WikiCell Designs is taking that idea from nature and creating edible packaging for many everyday food products such as juices, mousses, and emulsions such as ice cream, cheese, and yogurt. Wikicells enclose food and drink inside soft skins that are entirely comprised of natural food particles held together by nutritive ions, and generally protect the soft skins with hard shells that are either completely edible (like grape, apple, and orange peels) or are biodegradable (like the husk and shell of a coconut).
The idea was imagined by David Edwards of Harvard and developed with designer François Azambourg. Mimicking nature’s packaging was the subject of a spring 2003 article in Whole Earth magazine by Janine Benyus and Dayna Baumeister, Packaging Tips from the Porcupine Fish (and other Wild Packagers).