How blockchain is helping to minimize food waste.
Yesterday I discovered a wonderful app called “TooGoodToGo” (Download it in Android and iOS) in which for a little money you can have (along with other people) the food that different food stores have left over from the day.
I found it a very simple and efficient concept where it is about finishing the cycle of these foods to avoid waste. But of course, this type of initiative does not have the impact that this urgent issue of solution deserves. Therefore, I want to show how the blockchain technology is proposing alternative solutions with a lot of potentials.
Nowadays approx 45 percent of fruits and vegetables are wasted, due to a chaotic distribution system that cares little about spoilage. The imprecise nature of today’s supply chain (from farmers and shippers to food-packers and grocers) often leads to perishable produce being thrown away. (Source: IBM)
For example, in the USA food waste represents 1.3% of the total GDP. Meanwhile, 800 million people go to bed hungry every night. That is 1 in 9 people on the planet who are starving or malnourished. (Source: Olioex)
Consequences (some of them)
It goes without saying that the later food is wasted, the greater is its environmental impact, because then we also have to take into consideration the energy and natural resources expended in processing, transporting, storing and cooking it. It’s exponential.
Food waste that ends up in landfills produces a large amount of methane — a more powerful greenhouse gas than even CO2. For the uninitiated, excess amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane, CO2 and chloroflurocarbons absorb infrared radiation and heat up the earth’s atmosphere, causing global warming and climate change.
With agriculture accounting for 70 percent of the water used throughout the world, food waste also represents a great waste of fresh water and groundwater resources. (Source: moveforhunger)
I am sure there are many initiatives of different types that should be applied right now in many parts of the world; however, I want to highlight the alternatives that use blockchain technology:
This solution is mixed with actual technologies: A blockchain-enabled food supply chain enhanced by IoT devices and AI computing could make us minimize waste food consumption.
IoT sensors could be used to track fruits, vegetables, or any other food on the long journey from the field to the grocery store. With AI-enhanced, real-time data could also help retailers learn more about consumer eating patterns. For example, some questions that will help make this happen would be: how does visible freshness affect what produce shoppers buy? At what point in its life cycle does a box of strawberries lose its appeal? Based on the answers AI provides, retailers can adjust buying cycles to ensure those strawberries get onto shelves at exactly the right time (and at the right price). Here is a very good way to see it:
The main goal is that in the future, production at the point of sale needs to be fresher because both farmers and suppliers know exactly how much to grow and how much to order to meet demand. (Source: IBM)
Examples of solutions
Below I show you cases of companies and/or startups that are contributing to this problem with a solution with blockchain technology.
This startup of food waste management uses an app to connect businesses with local charities to facilitate deliveries of leftovers. By providing data about the types of food Goodr app users produce, the company’s goal is to eliminate surplus food.
Did you know that about $218 billion dollars per year are spent on the production, transportation, and removal of uneaten food? according to data from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The main goal of Goodr is working to fight against this.
Goodr uses blockchain technology to keep a data ledger for their clients of how much food businesses waste each one of them. Data collected by the company includes information on what food gets wasted the most, community connections and environmental impacts.
This article was originally published by Medium.com. Read the original article here.