Tomatoes Transformed Into Edible Food Containers

Diane Leclair Bisson believes there’s a future in packaging that you can eat.

Nature knows that one of the best ways to package food is to make it possible to eat the whole dang thing, skin and all. In that spirit, Diane Leclair Bisson is working to give fruit a brand-new identity, transforming tomatoes into a series of edible containers for a project designed to encourage reflection on our consumption-centric society and wasteful habits. It’s casing that becomes part of the snack—rather than toss it in the trash, just pop it in your mouth.

The endeavor is an evolution on Bisson’s research under her Taste No Waste initiative, established to explore the idea of doing away with disposable food products, particularly in the context of high-end gastronomy, catering, schools, and even fast food. As it turns out, the public has a hearty appetite for the experiment. For its debut during the Salone in Milan, Bisson partnered with Gionatan Lassandro, president of Fooda, an Italian food design association, to transform tomatoes into vessels—crunchy, jelly-like, and pliable vessels—for a variety of local dishes, and the project recently won a Core77 Award for Food Design.

But can the thought-provoking concept be translated to something ecologically and logistically viable for the larger marketplace? Plastic and paper are wasteful, yes, but they also serve a purpose—to protect our comestibles. Bisson is currently conducting studies as they relate to the products’ life cycle assessment (LCA) and food safety concerns, so it’s entirely possible we’ll soon be finishing off our meals by eating the plate they were served on.

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  • JH

    Very interesting... am curious to know more about what the packaging is made out of... tomatoes, sure, but it is combined with sugar, salt, or other presertvatives?  How sustainable is this if we have to mass produce tomatoes to make containers?  At the very least... they are compostable, and beautiful! 

  • Al

    Interesting innovation - but the essential non-replaceable feature of food packaging is that it keeps the grime and dirt of the packing, distrubution, stocking and shop display process off the bit that goes in your mouth. And in fast-food etc don't forget the stage where you put the food on a table while eating it.

    It's certainly not useless - things like this could work as ways of separating units within an outer box, and it might also enable some producers to reduce the disposable packaging they produce to just a thin clear outer film. But it's not the first of its type and there's a reason why other earlier edible innovations such as rice paper never replaced displosable packaging.