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The art of food preservation (with no fridge)

March 20, 2012 | Appropriate Technology, Art | 9 comments | Author:

"Apples emit a lot of ethylene gas. It has the effect of speeding up the ripening process of fruits and vegetables kept together with apples. When combined with potatoes, apples prevent them from sprouting."

Well, we all know food preservation IS an art, but this is a slightly different type – Korean artist Jihyun Ryou has done a beautiful project translating traditional food preservation knowledge into quirky design…

This project is about traditional oral knowledge which has been accumulated from experience and transmitted by mouth to mouth. Particularly focusing on the food preservation, it looks at a feasible way of bringing that knowledge into everyday life.

Through the research into the current situation of food preservation, I’ve learned that we hand over the responsibility of taking care of food to the technology, the refrigerator.

We don’t observe the food any more and we don’t understand how to treat it. Therefore my design looks at re-introducing and re-evaluating traditional oral knowledge of food, which is closer to nature. Furthermore, it aims to bring back the connection between different levels of living beings, we as human beings and food ingredients as other living beings.

Through the objects of everyday life, design can introduce traditional oral knowledge into people’s lives through their experience of using it. Objects make invisible knowledge evident.

Shaping traditional oral knowledge - Jihyun Ryou

** Additions @ 5pm on 20/3/2012 – thanks to Paul Barker via our facebook page (thanks Paul)…



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9 COMMENTS


  • Cecilia Macaulay (@CeciliaMacaulay) March 20, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply

    I’m so inspired, Kirsten!
    Will I do it??

    The carrots and spring onions in sand look the easiest to start with.

    A set-up like this would remind me every day, to listen to the true nature of the creatures around me, find out what they need to be their best selves.

    Starting with myself, my family and my carrots.

    I will let you know how I go
    Thank-you Jihyun Ryou – Jal moge seumi da!


  • Merri Bee March 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply

    Very lovely and very Japanese. I have to protest at the egg freshness test. I am a commercial egg farmer (organic) with a few decades experience and a few times I have done experiments with eggs and the float test. It is largely a myth!!
    Yes a very fresh egg will sink,but a 12 week old egg and a 2 week old egg will both float to the same extent . There is nothing wrong with a 2 week old egg. That’s still a fresh egg.


    1. milkwoodkirsten March 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply

      I’ve had conversations with old ladies who (talking about their own backyard eggs from their own chooks) insist if the egg sinks then it’s acceptable to be used for boiled eggs with soldiers, if it doesn’t sink then it’s ‘old’ and gets used in cakes etc. I think this is the context this bit of trad knoweldge is meant in? Of course if you don’t have your own eggs, then maybe the test is nullified as the ‘freshenss’ is of a different scale?


  • Cullen March 20, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Reply

    Brilliant concept and the images explain it so clearly, looking forward to more updates


  • Jaime March 21, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply

    Remember if you can’t have your own hens, please make sure to Only purchase Cage-free (free range) Organically fed Hen eggs. Non-hormone, non-antibiotic, non-steriodal.


  • Jaime March 21, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply

    I want to make the wooden structures myself- they would be really cool to look at in the kitchen too.


  • sea chel March 29, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply

    I am so excited by this!


  • Shelli April 23, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    Oh wow this is sooo exciting!!! I’ve been researching ways to store and cook food that don’t use energy. These are definitely some of the simplest, yet still the most clever! If anyone does come across other similar products (to replace fridges and ovens etc) then can you pop a link up please. Ta.


  • Kemmy June 22, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply

    A horizontal egg in water is a fresh egg as there is no air bubble in the egg. An older egg has lost some of its “liquid” through the pores and an air pocket forms at the rounder end (I call it the backside) as the membrane shrinks inwards. Hence the egg’s rounder end floats upwards as air is light (trying to get to the surface but unsuccessful as the other end filled with the white and yolk will keep the egg down). The egg will either be diagonal or vertical in the water depending on how large the air pocket is, ie. how old it is. I use horizontal eggs for poaching and sunny side ups or soft boiled. Vertical ones get hard boiled as it is easier to peel since the membrane is not as attached to the shell, or made into cakes.



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