Originally posted on Food & Wine
Inventors are getting extra creative in their efforts to fight food waste. At the recent Seeds and Chips Global Food Innovation Summit, where Barack Obama gave a speech on the future of sustainable food, innovators came with their best ideas on how to reduce waste and to give the massive amount of food that does end up in the garbage a second life.
Italian biotechnology start-up Green Code dreamed up the Demetra tool, which extends the shelf life of produce. Demetra uses a mixture of plant extracts to delaying the ripening process, which means we could soon see bananas that don't brown on our supermarket shelves.
Meanwhile, New York-based food tech startup RISE repurposes barley, a by-product of beer production, to make flour for pizza, cookies, and bread.
There’s also a tool for chefs, called Winnow: It’s a “smart scale” that calculates just how much food restaurants are wasting, and it should be able to save chefs as much as eight percent on food costs by helping them better understand how much to buy in the first place.
Earlier this year, researchers reported that the UK wastes £13 billion of food per year. In the U.S. we waste about $165 million worth of food annually, even though 1 in 7 American use food banks.
On top of that, a third of produce is never even eaten because it spoils en route to the grocery store, or it’s simply thrown out by picky consumers. All that food ends up in landfills, where it rots, releasing greenhouse gases that speed up the already dangerous pace of climate change.
Clearly, more people and companies are catching on to what is becoming a big problem for our planet and our wallets. Indeed, we probably have a future to look forward to in which the food we eat everyday might will be made from the food we once wasted.