Inventor Kavita Shukla's Big Idea

One woman gets fresh with an idea to curb food spoilage

kavita shukla smiling
(Image credit: Courtesy of Subject)


When Kavita Shukla drank contaminated water in India as a teen, her grandmother's spiced tea kept her from getting sick. Curious, Shukla, now 30, tested the spices, which inhibit bacteria, on some berries. The treated fruit stayed fresh for three weeks, while the rest rotted in days.


Shukla infused the spices into sheets of paper, calling it FreshPaper. The average American family loses 40 percent of food to spoilage, but FreshPaper can keep produce edible up to four times longer.


FreshPaper is now sold at grocery stores nationwide, and Shukla started a Buy a Pack, Give a Pack program to benefit the developing world, where, in some places, as much as 80 percent of food spoils. "I feel like my grandmother, who passed away, is watching," Shukla says.