Earlier this year I started hearing about these edible water bottle blobs, that claim to be made from algae and leave zero plastic waste. I’m not too sure why I brushed it off at the time, perhaps because they didn’t have much information about it yet. It recently came back to mind and I decided to check up on it, and I’m glad that I did!
Ooho! is the name of the product. It is, as you can see in the picture, a blob! A blob of water! That you can eat! No plastic bottles need to be thrown out or recycled. How awesome is that?
What is the water blob made of?
The Ooho! website tells us that it is made out of materials extracted from plants and seaweed. You can even make some at home by introducing spoonfuls of diluted sodium alginate (alginate derives from brown algae as the name suggests), to diluted calcium lactate. This process is called spherification, because the product is in the form of a sphere! The water becomes thicker due to the chemical reaction you start when you mix the two ingredients, and creates a membrane which contains water. Your blobs are now ready to go.
Some Pros and Cons About Ooho!
1. Eco-Friendly: the ultimate goal about the Ooho! is to drastically reduce the use of water bottles and CO2 emission.
2. Uses completely biodegradable materials, aka sodium alginate, calcium lactate, and water!
3. Can be used to contain liquids other than water: you can take your blobs to go!
4. Costs less than plastic bottles
5. Safer than water bottles due to the natural ingredients, when compared to the particles of plastic that can accumulate in the water that comes from plastic bottles (for example, when they’ve been sitting out in the sun for hours before getting shipped to a grocery store.)
1. Easily destructible: although I can take my blobs to go, chances are they’ll burst when in contact with other things (in my cooler, for instance)
2. Takes up space: I’d need to eat quite a few if I want to get in my 8 glasses of water a day. What if I have all the blobs I need to eat in a day, but only two hands? Where do I put them? This wouldn’t be a problem if I could store them efficiently and safely without them bursting or getting dirty.
3. They’re fresh, yes, but they have a short shelf life. If I were to store them, they wouldn’t last long. I’d have to eat them all immediately, or within a few days.
4. How would they commercialize it without packaging it? I guess it’s a lot harder than it seems when you’re trying to avoid plastic packaging at all costs.
I’m not gonna lie to you, some of the cons are from myself, some I’ve heard from others. But I felt a bit ridiculous as I was writing them, because all of the cons combined absolutely do not weigh out the pros. Number 3 in particular seemed particularly ridiculous: it has a short shelf life because it doesn’t have preservatives? EW! Fresh water!
How ridiculous of me.
With some tweaks to make the bubbles more resistant and to solve the other present and potential cons, I think we’re onto something revolutionary here, don’t you think? If this is still on a smaller scale, what kind of eco-friendly monster would they be able to create when put on a larger scale? It is exciting to say the least.
Hope you’re all enjoying your day! Keep smiling!