From: Chris Peak, Care2, More from this Affiliate
Published January 20, 2017 04:54 PM

6 High-Tech Innovations That Could Solve Our Food-Waste Woes

These cutting-edge technologies are revolutionizing the notion of waste not, want not.

Americans can be a wasteful bunch. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service estimates that our country threw away 38 million tons of food, the equivalent of every person in the country junking two-thirds of a pound every day. We dumped milk that had spoiled, vegetables that had turned brown and hamburger patties we were too full to eat. Not only did this excess cost us a collective $161 billion, it caused unnecessary environmental strain. Food waste, after all, is the most common material in landfills and incinerators, constituting 21.6 percent of all solid waste, according to the U.S.D.A. To fix the problem, there are some easy strategies each household should adopt (hint: buy less, freeze more, compost). But there are also some high-tech innovations that could revamp the entire food supply. Below, the most promising efforts at reducing waste, from the time food is first harvested all the way to its final destination in a dumpster.

1. Diverting unwanted food

Because of the government’s health and safety regulations, supply counts or simply cosmetic issues, a warehouse manager might reject a food shipment before it even makes it to the retail stand. The app Food Cowboy redirects this ugly or unwanted surplus to food banks. A truck driver simply programs her route into the mobile app, along with what’s on offer, like a pallet of bruised bananas or knobby carrots. By the time she’s ready to hit the road, the driver might receive a message from a charity who will meet her at a rest stop to take the produce. The soup kitchen gets their week’s supply of produce, and the distributor can take a tax deduction for the donation: a win-win.

Read more at Care2

Photo Credit: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images - Recipients at a food bank in New York City pack up their groceries. 

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