Cutting edge technology and various innovations have made it possible to manage food waste more effectively. For example, one of the drawbacks of having a large refrigerator is the hassle of making sure that the various food products contained within it continue to remain fresh. However, with some of the latest innovations in the food industry and the development of several food-centric apps, you can now streamline food waste management and reduce the same drastically. From food-centric apps to smart refrigerators, there have been several innovations in the last few years and it is time that you took a closer look at some of them.
Top innovations that helped to minimize food waste
Smart refrigerator: This one was quite expected, to be honest. It was way overdue but finally, the smart refrigerator is here at last. Samsung has unveiled its smart refrigerator and others are due to follow suit. It comes with three built-in cameras as well as sensitive sensors that you can use to regulate and maintain your food and prevent it from going to waste. You can sync up your mobile phone with your refrigerator, check out all the food items in the fridge and even connect with Alexa, an AI application that you can use to place orders for fresh groceries. Better yet, your fridge can also be controlled by voice commands and you can customize the playback music so that it plays your favorite song each time you open it. You can also use your phone to tweak the settings and temperature on your refrigerator
Olio: This is a handy app to have. You can primarily use this app to let the people in the immediate vicinity know that you have leftovers. Essentially, those in need of food can come over and pick it up, and the food would not go to waste. That’s a nice step but it presupposes on the premise that everyone has an Olio app on their phone.
Tactile bump: This is a much-needed innovation; how often have you purchased items in the supermarket only to find that they have gone bad already? Well, this product is a bio-reactive food label that remains smooth only as long as the perishable is fresh. The product is designed so that it develops a bump, then that means that the product in question has gone bad and it’s time to throw it away. Once the bump develops on the label, it’s time to throw it out, using skip bins.
Winnow: This is an electronic scale with a difference; it does not weigh food ingredients that you need to cook your favorite dish. Rather, this scale weighs the food waste that you are throwing out and even keeps a log of the same. This shows you just much food you throw out each day and you can take measures to bring it further down.
Pantry app: This is one handy app to have because the pantry app comes with a stock list that allows you to review just what is in your pantry. It also comes with an expiry tracker that keeps track of all the items in the same and even lets you know when they are no longer fresh. It even comes with an alarm that lets you know as the various items get closer to the “use by date”. This app comes in two versions, the basic app which does all of the above and an advanced version which also comes with a meal planner, links to several internet shopping sites for easy shopping, recipes and much more.
Fair food forager: This handy app ranks several food establishments from cafes, restaurants, grocers, supermarkets etc. on how sustainable they are. They also use various other metrics to rank an organization such as food waste, plastic waste, sourcing local produce and others. They also check out how much food you waste by throwing it away, using your skip bins, and how you process your leftover food, etc.
Last minute sotto casa (LMSC): Restaurants often have to deal with the problem of surplus food and while most of them just throw it away, some give away the surplus food to several home shelters. But with this app, restaurants can now sell the leftover food at a fraction of the original price. It works this way, the restaurant or the shopkeeper can send an alert through their phone and let various customers know that they have left over food which can be bought at discounted rates. And from all the reports so far, the app works like a charm.
Food cowboy: This app lets charity recipients, such as soup kitchens, churches and homeless shelters, know about when a particular food product is no longer acceptable to grocers. In such a case, this app lets these usual charity recipients know of the same and assess the food as well, to determine if it is in good condition. It then lets the recipients know of the same as well as determine the nearest place that this food can be donated at.
Spoiler alert: This is essentially a nonprofit platform which lists out information regarding surplus produce from a farm or wholesale food distributors. It alerts the public to surplus produce and at the same time to incentivize donors, it also lists out the various tax benefits that they can avail by donating the same.
Imperfect produce: As insane as it may sound, over 20% of a farm product is often rejected because it is not in the appropriate shape or size. This company contacts some of the farmers who are not able to sell to their usual clients on account of their unusual shape or size. After that they contact few supermarkets to stock up on this ‘imperfect produce’, so that nothing goes to waste.
L.A.Kitchen: What makes the L.A Kitchen unique is that it uses modern technology to connect directly with other food centers for their leftover surplus and also is one of the few to recover food successfully. It then prepares the recovered food successfully and uses the same to come up with new creations.
For solutions: Here they manage to recover waste food and use the same to manufacture compost as well as fertilizers. By reusing the waste food and composting the same, they are able to return the various natural nutrients back to the soil. This enables you to even remarket the fertilizer and ensure in the process that the next generation of crops grows well.
These are some of the innovative methods by which various organizations are able to bring down food waste. Food waste management is a complex task but with these handy apps, and platforms to help you along, you should be able to bring down food waste. You may want to check the online reviews for most of these apps and go ahead with the one that seems to come with advanced functionality. Do remember that some of these apps are free; some are premium and come with a certain price tag. On the whole, this innovative technology can help you limit the waste and even reuse the same successfully to ensure that food is not wasted. Some of the technological innovations used here in these products is state of the art and with it, you can ensure that your food products are as good as it gets.
Author Bio : John McGrane is a managing director at A Plus Waste Management and oversees the whole operation which also includes managing a fleet of 42 skips that are transported in and out as per the demand.