Kavita Shukla: She’s Fighting Food Waste

October 10 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Let’s Get Fresh

When I lived with five roommates in college, we shared a narrow fridge roughly the size of a shoebox, which meant we had to completely change our eating habits. There was no grocery shopping once a week or even once a month. Every few days, we’d stop by our local store, filling a bag with a handful of ingredients for simple meals. That routine definitely got stale, but one thing that didn’t get old was the food we purchased. Nothing spoiled ever because it simply didn’t have time to. While I don’t miss an empty kitchen, eating fresh food every day was pretty dang awesome!

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $450 Billion

Let’s talk about food waste. Even though farmers grow enough food to feed the entire world, a full quarter of that global food supply is lost to spoilage. The costs of food waste are astonishing, resulting in $450 billion in economic losses and 100 million acres of farmland going to waste. Today, let’s do our part to stop wasting food. Let’s do it for our planet and for humanity. Together, we can make a difference!

WOMAN TO WATCH: Kavita Shukla, Founder and CEO of Fenugreen

Today’s innovative Woman to Watch will definitely inspire you to embrace a more sustainable life. Kavita Shukla knows that while purchasing fewer products will make a difference, cutting food waste also means figuring out how to make the food we have last longer. And she’s come up with a brilliant solution: a simple piece of paper.

Kavita is the inventor of an ingenious product called FreshPaper and the CEO of Fenugreen, a social enterprise on a mission to bring freshness to everyone. FreshPaper is designed to preserve food, and I can say from firsthand experience, it totally works!

When this Harvard University alum first came up with the idea for FreshPaper, she wasn’t trying to save the world; she was just trying to stave off a tummy ache. After accidentally drinking some less-than-pure tap water while visiting her grandmother in India as a kid, Kavita was surprised the generations-old spice concoction her granny worked up to inhibit bacterial and fungal growth actually prevented her from getting sick.

After years of research and development, beginning with an awesome middle-school science project, Kavita discovered a new application for her grandmother’s home remedy: an extraordinarily effective way to keep food fresh. She turned her discovery into a one-of-a-kind business that’s revolutionizing the global food economy. This small piece of paper keeps produce fresh two to four times longer, and is good for about a month. All it takes is one FreshPaper in your produce drawer, berry carton, fruit bowl or salad bag. Kavita now sells FreshPaper to major retailers like Whole Foods and Bed Bath & Beyond, and donates a ton of product to food banks.

She also recently hosted a marathon on the Home Shopping Network, announcing a super-cool campaign called Fresh Voices, through which she tells the stories of other pioneering boss ladies in an effort to inspire the next generation of women leaders.

As an entrepreneur with zero funding and zero experience but a whole lot of passion and one really world-changing idea, Kavita now holds four patents and has received some serious accolades, including the world’s largest monetary prize for design.

Kavita’s groundbreaking product isn’t just for your suburban home; it’s a way to tackle the problem of food waste. If food doesn’t succumb to mold or other dangers as quickly, food waste diminishes.

Thank you, Kavita, for not only helping us reduce our household food waste, but for making progress toward a world brimming with full bellies.


We’re sure Kavita Shukla would agree with author and environmental advocate Tristram Stuart, who said:

“Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protect the planet.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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