Recipe To Prevent Food Waste
The world’s farmers produce enough food to feed 10 billion1 people. Despite this, millions of people — many of them children — die of hunger and starvation each year. Inefficient and inequitable distribution of food is the main cause, but an easily preventable one is food waste.
Reducing food waste is an easy way to reduce our impact on the planet. Growing, storing, transporting, packaging, and cooking food contributes to approximately 70 percent2 of the freshwater use, 50 percent3 of habitable land use, and 26 percent4 of carbon emissions globally. These statistics do not include the pollution and threat to the ecosphere due to unsustainable agricultural practices including the overuse of chemical-based fertilizers and pesticides.5
According to some estimates, one-third of the food produced for human consumption — 1.3 billion tons6— is wasted each year. In developing countries, 40 percent6 of food waste or losses occur post-harvest, during processing and packaging operations. All because of inefficient harvesting, food storage, and transportation infrastructure. By contrast, in developed nations, more than 40 percent6 of food waste and losses occur at the retail and consumer level, also wasting the resources used in cooking or processing the food.
Packaging can be a cost-effective, and, in some cases, also a carbon-efficient way to preserve food and battle food waste. But finding the right balance between preventing food waste and “overpackaging,” i.e. adding to the packaging and plastic waste crisis is challenging. In this issue of your Ubuntoo digest we focus on solutions that address both food and packaging waste simultaneously with ingenious technologies.
Peter & Venky
Co-Founders — Ubuntoo
- Stixfresh is an all-natural way to safely and easily extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days. Stixfresh stickers keep fruit fresh longer without chemicals, the materials used are 100% natural.
- Glopack This project uses residue from the food and agriculture industry such as spoiled fruit juices, cattle manure, wheat straw, and grapevine shoots as components to make pellets, which are then formed into packaging in the same way as petroleum-based polymers.
- Winnow Vision is an AI-enabled tool that tackles the food wastage problem in kitchens of the hospitality industry by analyzing and learning food wastage patterns in the kitchens. This technology can be used to drastically reduce food wastage.
- GRIM GRIM helps reduce vegetable and fruit waste by sourcing and reselling 100% organic fresh produce that is discarded by farmers and supermarkets for being too ugly. GRIM puts the quality of the product over beauty standards set by consumers and supermarkets.
This report by Dr. Claire Sands describes how intelligent packaging can help reduce food waste by providing freshness indicators to consumers, retailers, and the entire supply chain.
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“Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protect the planet” – Tristram Stuart, Author and Food Waste Campaigner
Data Sourced From:
1Forbes Magazine, “By Ending Food Waste, We Could Feed 10 Billion People”
2 The World Bank, “Water in Agriculture”
3 Ourworldindata.org, "Land Use"
4 Ourworldindata.org, "Food production is responsible for one-quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions"
5 Ourworldindata.org, "Environmental impacts of food production"
6 UN Environment Programme, "Worldwide food waste"