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)
smithsonianmag.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.

Giving Fruit a Second Skin

Apeel Sciences, a California company dedicated to fighting food waste, has created a "second skin" for fruits and veggies called Edipeel. Edipeel is a film based on a plant's own cutin—the waxy substance that protects fruits and veggies from the elements by keeping water inside and oxygen out—that can increase shelf life up to three times. It's applied after harvesting and helps keep produce fresh until it makes it to your salad bowl. 

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