Laser-Etched Produce Works to Raise Food Access Awareness

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Choices about food spending and diet are directly influenced by the accessibility and affordability of it. And too often, this means that many people have a tough time accessing healthy, affordable eats.

Cue Rahul Bhargava. He’s a research specialist from MIT and he’s bringing the issue straight to the table (literally) with a new design idea. In collaboration with Somerville Food Security Coalition, he’s developed laser-etched food, and it’s a whole new way to raise awareness about food access.

So, using a laser (yes, really!), he’s etching things like, “70% of Somerville Public School students receive free or reduced lunch” and “I buy what I need first. If I have some extra money I get some fruits and vegetables” into everything from cucumbers to watermelons, urging consumers to know the facts instead of buying whatever is in front of them.

“In public settings, it can be quite hard to get folks walking by interested in a data-driven argument about your cause,” said Bhargava. “We often argue that a creative data sculpture can grab their attention… like maybe a vegetable laser cut with some data about food security!”

And he has a point. Who wouldn’t pick up a laser-etched veggie? After all, we are what we eat. Watch Bhargava’s behind-the-scenes video below.

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