Innovative Spirit

Seven Technologies That Could Help Fight Food Waste

From food-sharing apps to “smart” storage systems, these innovations might reduce the amount of food you toss

Ovie Smarterware alerts you when your food has hit half of its shelf life. (Ovie)
smithsonian.com

We buy those bags of oranges and cartons of kale with such high hopes and good intentions. Yet some portion of them always seems to wind up fuzzed with mold beneath the bananas or slimey and brown in the back of the fridge. Food waste is a huge problem, not just in our own kitchen, but globally. About a third of all food produced for human consumption gets wasted each year, resulting in some $990 billion in financial loss and an enormous toll on the environment. How do we improve these figures? Perhaps some of these technologies can help.

Smarter Storage

Set to be released this spring, Ovie Smarterware is a system of "Smart Tags" that you stick on your food containers. You press the button on the tag to connect with the Ovie hub and tell it what kind of food it is; it registers the food and begins a countdown. When half the food's shelf life has passed, the tag changes colors and sends your phone a message so you know it's time to eat. No longer will you stand in front of the fridge, wondering whether that leftover lo mein is worth a possible food poisoning. 

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