Many recent documentaries, books and diet plans have criticized modern humans for losing touch with their food. Most of us eat too much and on the run, have only a faint idea of what we're really consuming, and purchase foods from mysterious, faraway origins.
Nothing might illustrate this disconnection more than the Fresh Code.
Developed by Yanko Design, the Fresh Code is a barcode that slowly disappears as a food spoils. Whether it is molding on the grocer's shelf or in your bread drawer, the label signifies how fresh the product is.
Yanko Design writes:
The Fresh Code offers a simple solution to this problem; it’s an intelligent barcode with a graph that indicates the freshness level. As time passes by, the graph on the barcode keeps receding, till it finally reaches “0”; indicating that the veggie needs to be dumped and not sold.
Full disclosure: I'm not an expert on listening to the inside of cantaloupe or squeezing tomatoes. I've often poured clumpy milk over my cereal, and I have a thing for stale popcorn.
But do we really need sticker telling us not to eat something rotten?
Given the choice, most people will buy the food item that ranks the newest, leaving other still perfectly tasty and safe nourishment on the shelf. After all, even if I were to eat a banana directly upon leaving the store, I'd still pick the one with the most robust barcode.
By the way, bananas come with their own natural codes for freshness. They turn from green to yellow to brown.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com