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Leaving Well Enough Alone

Breatheable-Tea-Room-LeadSome people just can’t leave well enough alone. That’s a good thing since ‘well enough’ tends to get boring quickly. David Edwards, an art science, bioengineer and Harvard University professor would surely agree. Edwards is a leading thought pioneer with a commitment to technological advances and design solutions that engage shared artistic and scientific revelation.

In other words; he’s on the cutting edge of an international creativity movement. He is not likely to show up in a limo, but his credentials as an innovator in creativity and culture are first rate.

Edwards is applauded for being unconventional. He has invented a number of commercial innovations that some day could find themselves onto the shelves of our homes. He is best known for his invention of breathable food. Have you ever tried breathable foods?

What caught my attention was a segment on CBS Sunday Morning, where Edwards demonstrated breathable wine. As if drinking wine wasn’t easy enough, now you can inhale it! Do you still get a buzz? Apparently so. The alcohol bypasses the liver and goes directly into your bloodstream. The addictive effect is considered more tenacious and can lead more easily to abuse or even alcohol poisoning. Note to those who inhale: Use caution.

Chocolate being one of the most consumed foods on the planet couldn’t be left out of the fun. Le Whif has the bases covered. You can inhale chocolate, get the full sensation of actually eating chocolate, but none of the calories. Do I hear a resounding ‘yum’ of a stampeding crowd? Inhaling from a small canister – about the size of a lip balm, takes a little finessing to get the hang of. Dispensers sell for about $2 each and gives the consumer three good hits. All the sensations of chocolate coat your tongue and supposedly give the same amount of satisfaction. I’m not yet convinced, but I’m so willing to try. Le Whif isn’t stopping with chocolate, they’ve approached several Master Chefs to begin development of breathable main course dishes. Personally the thought of whiffing a medium rare filet mignon or indulging in the traditional way – call me old fashion and give me a knife and fork.

Dr. Edwards is going beyond the breathable to the edible packaging of foods. Based on Nature he sees it as the next step in smart and ecological eating. Edwards gives the example that an apple is encased in an edible skin that preserves the interior and keeps it from oxidizing, so why not other foods? His most recent endeavor is to encase different foods in edible, natural “skins” to keep them contained and staying delicious longer. Essentially, it’s edible packaging. A good example is his partnership with Stoney Field Yogurt of New Hampshire, USA. Yogurt contained in a skin of a complementary flavor that holds the product in place, makes it easy to eat, transport and store.

These little gems are known as wikipearls following the name of one of his companies WikiFoods. Packaging a variety of foods is the proposed long game. Saving on wasteful plastic and cardboard packaging. Like any good food container, Wikicells as they are referred to, do not leak, melt or need to be kept hot or cold. Innovative, certainly, but how practical is the idea, really? It may be a home run and maybe a short lived flash of brilliance – it all depends on us, the consumer. If it’s marketed well and the public likes the idea then there is a future, but it may still be too radical for the general consumer.

Personally, I like the idea of new and different. I wouldn’t mind breathing a glass of wine while I snarf down a wikicell of artichoke pate and finish with a toke of fine chocolate. Maybe not everyday, or for that matter every week, but enough to keep life interesting, for sure.

What is especially intriguing about Dr. David Edwards is he is definitely not one for leaving well enough alone.

Published in Innovation