Apps and Inventions that can Help Reduce Food Waste
In developed countries like Canada and the United States, more than 40% of food losses occur at retail and consumer levels. Fortunately, researchers are working on developing technology to help us reduce the amount of food we throw out at home, and there are even a few food-saving apps you can download today:
This app connects people with restaurants that sell older, but unexpired food at discounted rates. It’s particularly innovative because much of the food waste at stores and restaurants cannot be donated due to food safety regulations. The service is only available in New York City right now, but there are plans for expansion.
Fridge Pal allows you to make shopping lists, track expiration dates, and search for recipes that will make use of what’s currently in your fridge. It’s made for meal planning so you can stay organized and avoid throwing out food.
Marks & Spencer and Tesco, two major retail chains in the UK, have been working with ethylene-absorbing strips that can be incorporated into their produce packaging. Ethylene is the natural chemical released by fruits that promotes ripening, and eventually, causes mold. By soaking up ethylene, the strips prevent produce from getting overripe on the shelves.
Plastic Analog-To-Digital Converters
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, Universitá di Catania, CEA-Liten and STMicroelectronics have invented a circuit that can tell if food past its expiry date is still safe to consume. This development brings plastic sensor circuits costing less than one euro cent within reach. To fight food waste, producers could include an electronic sensor circuit in their packaging to monitor the acidity level of the food, or the sensor circuit could be read with a scanner or with your mobile phone to show the freshness of meat.