How AI is Being Used to Reduce Food Waste

A consistent influx of food waste is an inevitable problem for food businesses. 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year, which is roughly $1 trillion, according to the "Food Tank."

Luckily, today, we have more technology companies developing solutions to try to limit food waste. 

Hospitals and their programs, in particular, produce a significant amount of food waste. When patients aren't eating, not only is there more food waste but there is also health implications. 

With that in mind, the Japanese company Hitachi is partnering a hospital to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to monitor food waste.

This data helps to improve the hospital's meal preparation while also relieving the burden on nurses to check these leftovers. 

"The system works by using a camera mounted on a trolley that collects trays, taking pictures of the leftovers. The company’s deep learning algorithms then examine the images to provide analysis," writes "The Spoon." "By doing this post-meal analysis, Hitachi’s systems can recognize patterns in the leftovers that humans otherwise could not see. Japan Times writes that nurses often check leftovers now, but the task adds to their workloads and they are not trained nutritionists."

The system is still being tested, but could this AI technology be eventually used at all hospitals?

Read more at "The Spoon" now.

Another company combating food waste is FoodMaven. Listen below to the Colorado-based company's co-founder, chairman & CEO Patrick Bultema as he talks about how the online marketplace sells high-quality local and oversupplied food from distributors to restaurant operators. 

Goodr: Solving Food Waste and Food Security with Blockchain

Goodr: Solving Food Waste and Food Security with Blockchain
  • How can you avoid food waste?

  • Blockchain technology can help show you how much food you’re wasting.

The USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates American consumers waste 133 billion pounds of food each year. Goodr, a food waste management company has a solution that utilizes blockchain technology.

The Atlanta-based company provides a service that picks up surplus food from corporations and delivers it to local charities— solving both food waste and hunger.

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DoorDash is Using Its Technology to Give Back to the Needy

DoorDash is Using Its Technology to Give Back to the Needy

By law, restaurant owners cannot serve leftover food to guests the following day. So, what is a chef or restaurateur to do with all the extra food?

You could always have employees take some home, but what if you still have more after that?

According to “Fast Company,” “An average restaurant might waste 100,000 pounds of foods a year.”

Enter DoorDash. This food delivery company is using its algorithm to help restaurant owners with a surplus of food finding a person to deliver it to the nearest shelter caring for hungry homeless people, for example.

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The Food Waste Challenge: Donate Goods, Deduct Food, and Devote Time

The Food Waste Challenge: Donate Goods, Deduct Food, and Devote Time

By Jaclyn Morgan, FCSI, JM Foodservice Consulting, LLC

Let’s be honest, food waste happens at your restaurant. Some trimmings can be composted, some things recycled, but much more ends up in the trash. Unsightly produce, cans of food on the brink of expiration, and extra prepared dishes add up to money flushed down the toilet. Your last bulk order or a menu change may have you seeing red. Per the Green Restaurant Association, a single restaurant in the U.S. produces between 25,000 and 75,000 pounds of food waste in one year.

Now change your perspective. Last year, over 42 million Americans lived in poverty and in a food insecure household. Nonprofit food banks, food pantries, charitable meal programs, and soup kitchens rely on food donations to provide their communities with hunger relief.

Take another look. Nationwide, a staggering 40 percent of food goes uneaten, and most often than not, ends up in a landfill. The Environmental Protection Agency notes that food waste decomposing in landfills creates methane gas, a greenhouse gas more potent than carbon dioxide.

You don’t have to dump a bucket of ice over your head to be aware that your restaurant can be socially responsibility and sustainable. Food waste can become a charitable donation without liability, and your establishment can reap the rewards of tax deductions and community involvement.

So, take the Food Waste Challenge. Here’s how you can donate goods, deduct food, and devote time.

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