Food waste is a pervasive issue in the food system, one that strikes up and down the supply chain. But not everyone realizes that roughly half of all food waste occurs not in restaurants or on the farm, but in the average consumer’s kitchen.
Seems like something that tech should be able to fix, right? That’s why we’ve teamed up with the Future Food Institute (FFI) for The Wise Kitchen, our initiative to raise awareness about, celebrate collaboration around and foster innovation towards reducing food waste in the home.
Chiara Cecchini of the FFI and SKS founder Michael Wolf introduced The Wise Kitchen initiative at SKS 2019 last month. (If you’re interested, make sure to get on our email list here.) After the unveiling, Cecchini sat down with Stacie Thompson of Ovie, Dr. Dochul Choi of Samsung and Isabella Lane of Smarter to take an in-depth look at the behemoth that is food waste and discuss how different companies are fighting it throughout the food ecosystem.
If you hate food waste (don’t we all?), you should really take some time to watch the whole panel below. Here are a few quick takeaways:
Home food waste has a simple cause
Of course, people aren’t wasting food at home intentionally. They love food and saving money. Why, then, do people end up throwing away almost half of the food they purchase? According to Thompson, the reason is simple: “We just forget about it.” That’s exactly what Ovie, which tracks your food and reminds you how fresh it is, is trying to fight.
Food waste won’t be solved by one company
It’s all well and good to have startups coming up with new strategies to cut down on food waste, like by tracking your leftovers and giving insight into what food is in your fridge. To make any sort of widespread change, large corporations also have to get on board. But as Lane pointed out, that can be a challenge — though one that they’re working to overcome at Smarter.
Home waste extends beyond just food
Dr. Choi made the point that waste in the home doesn’t just apply to food. It can also cover other resources like plastic, water, and even energy. Conserving these elements is also critical to making a more sustainable planet. After all, Dr. Choi pointed out that the food system is circular — fixing one waste stream will have a domino effect to help us fix others.