How Canadian Technology Is Tackling The Food Waste Crisis
From the Huffington Post
Despite rising food insecurity, $31 billion of it is wasted every year in Canada, a number soaring to $1 trillion worldwide as 30 per cent of food goes uneaten. The vast majority of food waste happens at production, processing and retail levels rather than on the consumer side.
To help address this, France famously passed unanimous legislation requiring supermarkets to either give unsold food to charity or send it to farmers for use as feed and fertilizer. Here in Canada, food rescue organizations like Second Harvest help get unspoiled food from retailers, manufacturers, restaurants and caterers to charities, delivering ingredients for over 22,000 meals daily.
But we live in hi-tech times, so technology is also being used as a weapon in the war on food waste. Here’s a look at how homegrown Canadian tech is trying to tackle our food waste crisis.
- Nanotechnology: Jay Subramanian, a plant agriculture professor at the University of Guelph, and his team of biotech scientists have devised a food spray that the CBC reports “uses a nanotechnology-based application of hexanal, a natural plant extract that prevents fruit spoilage.”
- App: Flashfood “is essentially the discount food rack on your cellphone and it’s a means for grocery stores, restaurants, food vendors, being able to resell their surplus food before they’re going to throw it out,” founder and CEO Josh Domingues told CityTV.
- App: Ubifood is a Montreal-based competitor to Flashfood, giving geolocation-based real-time push notifications to inform users of discounted food in their area that might otherwise be thrown out by the end of the day.
- GMOs: Despite continuing if unfounded public skepticism over GMOs, B.C.-based Okanagan Specialty Fruits has received approval by Canadian and American authorities to sell their signature non-browning Arctic Apple.