This might just spin you and your dinner party guests out.
Industrial designer and art student Iftach Gazit has designed a waterproof vacuum-sealed bag called the Sous La Vie, at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. What makes this bag a little more interesting that most is that it was designed for cooking steak, fish and vegetables in your washing machine – yep, alongside your laundry – and no, without any soap or water actually coming into contact with the food.
You might be wincing at this point and think the idea of mixing your white shirts with your white fish is a little daunting, but it actually stems from a rather resourceful and very inspiring place. Gazit shares on his website that even though this bag was created as part of his studies at the Academy it was “more of an eye opener” about people's overall food choices and access. “Fast food vs slow food, rich vs poor and capitalism vs socialism. The food we eat, and the way we eat it, reflects on our taste but much more on our economic abilities and culture,” he writes.
The inspiration for this product came about after a trip to New York and it was there he witnessed the city's homeless population using laundromats for an assortment of things. Most laundromats were open 24/7 and they offer what Gazit calls "hassle-free shelter" - where people can do their laundry, fill up water bottles, charge electronics, take a nap or simply take shelter. So Gazit took it one step further and asked why shouldn't people be able to cook some food whilst there, as well?
Gazit employs the sous vide cooking process - immersing a vacuum-sealed bag or airtight pouch of food in a temperature-controlled water bath. Gazit writes, "in sous vide the food is cooked in a bath-like device at temperatures usually around 50-70°C. The same conditions can be found in a washing machine; all you have to do is change the semantics," so set your machine to "synthetics" when cooking meat and "cotton" when cooking vegetables.
The Sous La Vie is reusable and completely waterproof - made from Tyvek paper bags. Tyvek paper is water resistant and is sealed within another waterproof bag to protect it from the laundry conditions.
The Sous La Vie bags are technically not available for sale, and Gazit notes that similar to the rise of convenience food and TV-dinners this sous vide laundry service has been a great conversation-starter. Gazit writes, "it is not intended solely for the homeless, but much rather for us all: a product that reflects on our taste, our economic ability and our culture."
And at SBS Food HQ, we're wondering to if top loaders vs front loaders matter? And perhaps it's time we got a washing machine in the office to test out just how delicious multitasking could be - Gazit, could you please let us know when these are for sale?
Lead image by Iftach Gazit's via his website The New Modern.