Technology: A Catalyst to Combat Food Waste

Food and Beverages | Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Advances in geospatial science and technology, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), have allowed farmers to make data-driven decisions concerning agricultural goods and handling operations.

FREMONT, CA: Every year, over 63 million tons of food waste are disposed of in landfills in the United States, and with expenditures of around 218 billion dollars to grow, process, transport, and then dispose of that organic produce, it is an expensive habit that needs to be broken. While the end consumer is the largest contributor to these figures, the restaurant industry in the United States also plays a role, producing 11.4 million tons of food waste yearly at the cost of more than 25 billion dollars.

Companies worldwide are looking for new and efficient solutions to fight this increasingly problematic aspect of the foodservice industry. Like many other industries, they are embracing technology to do it. Technology is transforming the industry landscape, and it has food waste firmly in its sights, thanks to new tracing, management, and, of course, mobile apps.

One of the most critical stages in reducing food waste commercially is tracing items through the food supply chain. This makes it easy to locate food waste hotspots and reduce them and track the location and status of individual food products across the supply chain to improve perishables delivery efficiency.

The benefits of blockchain technology have already been recognized by major actors in the food supply chain. While blockchain is at the forefront of food tracing efforts, other tracking and tracing methods based on relatively simple technologies like barcodes or numeric tags are already widely established. However, advances in technology have allowed tracing systems to scale up, and easier access to better hardware and software has prompted the development of Electronic Identification (EID) systems, which include electronic tags with chips and handheld scanners for reading, storing, and transmitting data to PCs for analysis and long-term storage.

Furthermore, advances in geospatial science and technology, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), have allowed farmers to make data-driven decisions concerning agricultural goods and handling operations. Furthermore, this technology provides for traceability of attributes including yield, product quality, animal movement, and disease epidemiology, which might help reduce the 10 million tons of produce thrown away or left unharvested on farms.

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