Stop looking at expiration dates
Instead, follow this rule
A few weeks back, we got 4 loaves of bread delivered to us by mistake.
We eat like one loaf per week.🥖
All of them had an expiry date that was in 10 days.
Instead of throwing the other 3, we just froze them.
And moved them to the fridge when we were ready to consume them.
Just used a basic formula to see if they were fine-
Did they look fine?
Did they taste fine?
Did they smell fine?
As long as the answer is Yes to all of them, you don’t need to worry about the expiry date.
Food manufacturers put them to prevent themselves from any liability.
Many types of shelf-stable goods last for a while after their expiration date is up.
That’s true for dairy products as well.
Meat products tend to go bad quickly unless you freeze them.
Do you consume food beyond its expiry date?
For this week, we have 3 startups that are tackling the problem of food waste by-
🍔 Making sure that perfectly edible food doesn’t end up in the trash.
🥖 Helping businesses predict the perfect amount of perishable goods to order.
🥗 Donating edible food from restaurants and events to those who need it.
Look closely…When we shop for fruits and vegetables, we gravitate towards the ones that look good- good shape, form, colour. Supermarkets noticed this consumer habit. They knew that no one would buy unattractive food. So they simply started trashing them. Perfectly edible food is thrown away because it doesn’t look good. Let that sink in! In the US, which is one of the biggest offenders, around $160 billion worth, of fruits and vegetables gets thrown away every year.
Another chance…Misfits Market is helping this discarded food find another home. They take the too big, too small, funny-looking fruits and vegetables and sell them at up to 40% less than their supermarket prices. They also work directly with farmers and food producers to procure pantry staples, meats, and seafood that won’t be accepted by the supermarkets. This is then sold to the consumers directly.
They’ve partnered with hand-picked farms and food hubs across the US.
Customers can place an order with Misfits Market and then it’s home-delivered.
As most of the products are directly shipped from the farmers to the consumers, they’re fresher than the supermarket stuff.
It just looks funny…As their ugly produce is also bought, farmers get a new line of income, while reducing the food waste. To ensure that the odd-looking food is just odd-looking, Misfits has a quality control system in place. By discounting the food, they are also making healthier food more affordable for a lot of families.
Archaic methods…Let’s talk about the stuff that makes it to the supermarket. A lot of it is perishable. If it isn’t sold before it gets bad, it is thrown away. All the resources that have been used from the farm to the superstore are wasted. As this goes to the landfill, it adds more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere by releasing methane. And a lot of this has to do with the forecasting that supermarkets do. The traditional forecasting system causes food waste and lost profits.
Simplifying how retailers order perishables…Shelf Engine is replacing these traditional forecasting systems with intelligent ones. It uses machine learning and proprietary, predictive models to generate the most accurate orders for stores. This reduces food wastage at stores, improves their bottom line and minimizes product stockouts.
Grocers using their tool see an average profit margin increase of more than 50%.
Food waste in the store comes down by as much as 32%.
It automates the order submission process and minimizes stockouts by 90%.
Now that’s something…Shelf Engine is so confident about its product that it actually guarantees the sale of every item and buys back all unsold products- minimizing the risk for the grocer. Even if the grocers are just focused on improving their margins by using this system, the food waste reduction would happen automatically.
The irony…While there is so much food waste happening, on another side, 1 in 9 people on the planet face food deprivation. There is no shortage of food on the planet- it’s just distributed unevenly, like many other resources. Restaurants, catering, and event companies have plenty of leftovers. It’s more convenient for them to throw it than figure out how to donate it. Homeless, low-income people don’t have the means to connect with these places.
Bridging the gap…Goodr is solving this through an app and blockchain technology. It picks up edible surplus food and donates it to those in need. Through the app, clients can indicate how much food has to be picked from where. Goodr team reaches the spot, packs and picks up the food and delivers it to the beneficiaries.
The team logs every part of the transaction via the blockchain- so the donor can see who benefitted from the food.
The donor pays Goodr to donate the food- they can show them as donations and claim tax deductions.
As everything is on the blockchain, the beneficiary can share testimonials with the donor.
Make money while doing good…It does not operate as a charity but as a for-profit business that operates as a waste management company- except that the waste here is not really a…waste. It also offers services like taking food no longer suitable for human consumption and sending it for processing as compost or animal feed.
🙋Trivia of the week
In 2021, this nation became the world’s first major economy to enact a nationwide ban on short-haul domestic flights on routes where train journeys of two and a half hours or less exist as an alternative.
Mark Smith, the founder of the train travel website The Man in Seat 6, says the country’s high-speed trains offer conveniences that planes don’t, like city center-to-city center transport, free Wi-Fi, no advance boarding requirements, and great scenery. “Through the large picture windows you see far more of <country> than from a plane,” he says.
Which country are we talking about?
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