Losing track of food’s expiration date is not unheard of, given the frantic lifestyle that many of us have. QR Fridge Magnets might helps us a bit in this direction by reminding us when a particular food stored in the fridge goes off.
Needless to say, it’s very frustrating to go prepare breakfast in the morning, only to find that some of the foods from the fridge have expired. Till now, the only logical solution was to log the expiration date of each food, but QR Fridge Magnets could make things better by adding a visual overview.
The Stale Cabbage Patch, as this concept was initially named, made its first appearance on Yanko Design. Hu Yaxing, Chen Zhipeng, Liao Haibo and Tang Yigang, the designers who came up with the idea, explained there how these QR fridge magnets are supposed to work.
Such a concept could really change our lifestyles. Even though we buy ingredients and we intend to use them in recipes, most of us live a hectic life, and as a consequence, we find ourselves ordering fast food more often than we should. All the while, the foods we’ve bought become stale in the fridge.
The 4 different color codes displayed by the QR Fridge Magnets give us a hint at the state of the food. Grey indicates that the fridge magnet has not been associated to any foods. Green means that the food is perfectly fresh. Orange shows that while the food is still ok to eat, it will expire soon. Red is obviously a sign that the food expired and should be thrown away or used for composting, if you happen to be into gardening. Since the magnets are meant be placed in plain sight, forgetting about a particular food would be practically impossible.
The QR Fridge Magnet even won a red dot award for concept design. The fact that the idea got some of its deserved recognition increased the chances of the concept becoming a reality. Personally, I’d applaud the initiative of mass-producing such devices, but there is one small downside to them. The fridge magnet could only be used on individual ingredients, and not on cooked foods. Assuming that one recipe calls for several ingredients and each of these has a different expiration date, it would be difficult to estimate the time when the cooked food including them goes off.