Food education, packaging waste, and accessibility to fresh food are three major food-related challenges the world faces every day. Just by analyzing and researching food problems in the United States, we found out that there is a very high amount of calories consumed from sugars and fats every day, that food and packaging waste occupy almost 50% of the landfills, and that 23.5 million people live in â€œfood deserts,â€ (urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.)
After conducting a more extended research, we decided to design a product that promoted education and health, that reduced packaging waste, and that encouraged local gardening.
To learn more about food cultivation and sustainability, we talked to engineers, biologists, local farmers, and design professors. We did field research at farmers' markets, a community garden, and attended a bee exhibition at the University Art Museum. After gathering our information from our research, we drew inspiration from seeds, pollination, bees, and flowers, and started ideating and developing our design. We went through all the design stages: research, ideation, sketching, mock-up building, material research, prototyping, and refining.
Our solution was Polli Snak, a 100% biodegradable snack pack filled with nuts and dried fruits. It comes with dehydrated expandable soil and seeds so the user can cultivate a plant after being done with the snack. The packaging is expandable, allowing room for the soil to expand. For every Polli Snak sold at grocery or convenient stores, another pack is donated to a local community in need. Our design adopts the honeycomb space efficient pattern, the bee and dandelion pollination model, the seeds' waxy outer coat, and the moonflower blooming and folding patterns.
Polli Snack promotes education, healthy eating habits, reduces packaging waste, and encourages local gardening.
We were deeply saddened to learn that Nohemi Gonzalez, a student at Cal State Long Beach, who was a member of this student team, was tragically killed in the recent attacks in Paris. We offer our deepest condolences to Nohemi's family, friends, and teammates and mourn the loss of this promising young designer who was actively working to make the world a better place. As a global community, terrible acts in one corner of the world have deep reverberations that affect us all. Members of the Cal State community have set up memorial funds in Nohemi's name. If you would like to contribute, here are the links to these funds: