Engaging a community designing-out food waste
Blhana is a collaborative project with local Egyptian artisans and food bank that aims to provide a low-tech modular solution to tackling the food waste problem in Egypt by drawing on centuries long traditional local practices. 'Blhana' translates to “with felicity and healing” and is the common way Egyptians wish you well when you're just about to dig into your meal, in other words 'bon appétit'.
Egyptians were always involved in offering food first to their gods and then to their guests and family. Elaborate dinners and entertainment have always been a central part of Egyptian hospitality practices. However, due to those practices, It climbs to the top of the highest contributing countries to food waste percentages with 92 kilograms total annual amount of global food waste per person.
Multiple countries have found a solution for this by implementing community fridges in their neighborhood. However, in Egypt, they are far too costly and impractical, considering the local climate challenges. 
Presented with this problem, we started thinking about how might we create a low-tech system that both stores food and heats it in aims to share food that we don't need with those who do.
Blhana's modular system consists of a mashrabiya-inspired shading system to combat harsh sun exposure, terracotta pots with firm lids to store the food, and a low-tech stove to provide a warm meal.
Artisan Working on bamboo weaving
Artisan working in pottery workshop in Fawakhir Village
Interior view of the wood and bamboo storage unit
Terracotta cooling clay pots and lids
Front view of the mashrabiyya shading structure
Tagine based low-tech stove that uses oil and cotton for energy
In Collaboration with:
Centuries-old pottery village on the outskirts of Cairo
Cairo, Egypt
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