Food waste isn’t a problem with just one solution. Proper handling of food waste after it has spoiled is one way of ensuring it doesn’t end up in a landfill (which is what we do), but bright sparks all over the world are thinking of ways to tackle the issue further up the supply chain.
Today, we’re taking a look at three innovations from driven individuals who are out to make sure food ends up on your plate, not you bin.
Kavita Shukla began experimenting with blends of tea in her kitchen in Boston. Attempting to recreate the recipes of her mother in India, Kavita followed a hunch that the same products that go in to the tea could help keep food at it’s best for longer.
After some exhaustive trial and error, Kavita hit upon the current ingredients that go into FreshPaper, a square paper infused with herbs and spices that keeps food fresh for between 2-4 times longer than traditional packaging.
Originally intended for use in the developing world, Kavita has had great success working with retailers in the US to keep their stock on the shelves for longer. Retaining that original vision, however, Kavita makes sure that for every sheet sold, another is donated to a food bank or needy cause somewhere in the world.
Fruit going ‘over-ripe’ is a massive issue in the industry, turning gathering fruit into something of a gamble.
FreshTec’s SmartPac takes you average cardboard package, but adds in a uniquely constructed plastic liner. This liner denies the fruit oxygen and traps the CO2 expeled by the fruit when it’s first package.
This essentially suspends the ripening of the fruit, meaning it can be shipped ripe, rather than pre-ripe – allowing the fruit to look it’s best on the shelves and cutting down on food waste.
A camera linked to a countertop scale is the simple, yet effective crux of Leanpath, which documents each portion of food before it enters the bin, giving photographic evidence of any food being wasted, and quantifying it with the scales.
Rather than creating a draconian environment for food-service workers, however, LeanPath turns waste reduction into a sort of competition, using scoreboards that encourage workers to change their practices and allowing managers to analyse the data to understand the underlying causes for waste.
Examples via agfundernews