THE IDEA FOR ‘Sous La Vie’ foods, which come in specially designed bags that go right in with the laundry, was inspired by an effort to aid the homeless..
(photo credit: IFTACH GAZIT)
When the washing machine dings, you know to hang up your shirts, put your socks in the dryer and... put dinner on the table? With an invention by Iftach Gazit, a fourth-year design student at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem, that could soon be a reality.
Under the tutelage of his teacher, Liora Rosin, Gazit has created a line of “Sous La Vie” foods, which come in specially designed bags that go right in with your laundry.
The name is a play on sous vide, a trendy cooking method that calls for the immersion of vacuum-sealed food in moderately hot water for a long period of time. Sous vide literally translates from French to “under vacuum,” while la vie means “life.”
Gazit said his idea didn’t come from time efficiency, but rather an effort to aid the homeless population, which often sees laundromats as ideal shelters, where they can clean up and stay warm.
“I really wanted it to be something that would help homeless people cook in an urban environment,” Gazit told The Jerusalem Post
. He said he was inspired specifically by the American “mortgage crisis in 2008, which left a lot of people homeless.”
In a laundromat, he said, many of which are open 24/7, people can fill up water bottles, charge electronics, use the bathroom and rest while their laundry gets clean. So why not also get some cooking done? Gazit tried out a variety of different packaging, before settling on Tyvek paper, a waterproof, durable synthetic product used in home construction. Tyvek – unlike Gazit’s earlier prototypes – keeps the taste of detergent out of the food.
“There was a lot of testing on different materials and different fabrics to see what works,” said Gazit. “Both something you can kind of see food in and also something you can put inside a washing machine.”
So if you’re cooking meat, hit the “synthetics” button on your machine. Vegetables? Just program the setting for “cottons.”
And while Gazit has been approached by some companies to develop the product for public consumption, he is hesitant to have it lose sight of his original goals.
“If it could be a product that could somehow help save energy or help someone who can’t cook in their home, then I would love to see it as a product,” Gazit said. “Otherwise I would stay with the art part of it, and hopefully make people think about where our homes are headed and if they’re getting smaller – what does it say about us?”
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