An angel, in the form of a very smart Australian, has gifted the world a divine piece of machinery that may save us mere mortals from having to eat overripe avocados ever again.
A new piece of technology called the Natavo Zero (and aptly nicknamed the Avocado Time Machine) can allegedly keep cut avocado pieces from turning brown. The machine works by shutting down a specific enzyme in the fruit that causes its flesh to brown when exposed to oxygen, agricultural engineer and inventor of Natavo Zero Jeff Hastings told Mashable. Natavo Zero supposedly keeps avocado pieces fresh for 10 days.
This potentially life-changing product comes in two industrial-sized models. The largest one is big enough to treat and protect 1,102 pounds of avocado an hour (holy guacamole, am I right?). Sadly, the machines have yet to be sized down for in-home use, as the invention was built with large-scale food services in mind.
But not all hope is lost. "Our focus is definitely on the industry, [to those] who provide a finished product to consumers, like fast food restaurants or airlines," Hastings told Mashable. "However, it's not impossible for us to develop a consumer scale product in future." Fingers crossed.
Beyond saving humanity from enduring browned avocado toast ever again, the innovation could serve as a viable solution to the planet's enormous food waste problem. A whole 50% of produce grown in the U.S. is wasted every year, much of it simply for being cosmetically unappealing. While slightly browned avocados are safe to eat, they're often considered ugly by American beauty standards (really!) and are thrown away.
When produced unfairly deemed unfit to eat is tossed into the trash, it ends up in landfills, where it rots and emits harmful greenhouse gases that have been shown to contribute to climate change. If an avocado time machine can make the food fresher and reduce waste, perhaps it can be a catalyst to help turn back time on the damage we've caused to the planet, too.