Food waste is one of the largest wastes in America. According to a study done by the EPA in 2014, Americans throw away more than 38 million tons of food every year. That equates to more than the weight of 104 Empire State Buildings.
There are many reasons for this food waste, coming from places such as produce not being deemed “good enough” for markets to waste thrown out by households and restaurants. With 50 million Americans not having enough food to eat, food waste is one of the largest waste issues in the United States. However, there are many solutions popping up to help with these problems.
Solutions to combat food waste are not a new thing. However, emerging technology is allowing solutions for food waste to be more complex. The following are just a few of a myriad of solutions:
Imperfect Produce takes fruits and vegetables from the farm that aren’t “perfect” enough to be sold in supermarkets and sells them to everyday customers. These fruits and vegetables can be sold due to their looks or just simply because there are a surplus of them in stores. Boxes come in a variety of sizes and are completely customizable with the option of organic produce.
Food Cowboy connects for-profit food distributors who have truckloads of rejected fresh food — which typically ends up in the trash — with charities and food banks that desperately need that grub. This allows food to be directly reach the people who need it.
Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is a program that picks up what would be leftover food waste in restaurants and brings it to people in need. Many people and restaurants have misconceptions on donating leftover food to shelters in fear of getting into lawsuits. However, Rescuing Leftover Food not only partners with restaurants, it also informs the public about legal liabilities.
Gebni is a delivery service working to reduce food waste by using an algorithm to adjust prices according to real-time demand. By lowering prices during off-peak hours it can increases sales, while also increasing the accessibility of food delivery to low-income customers.
LeanPath provides food waste prevention solutions for commercial kitchens worldwide. The company’s food waste smart meters allow kitchen staff to track what food is being thrown away, monitor trends, and make informed decisions that not only reduce the amount of food that goes wasted, but also the kitchens’ overall food costs.
These 5 websites are only a few of the hundreds of solutions out there to help reduce food waste. While food waste has been a large problem in the United States, technology is helping us combat this.