Spoiler Alert, Companies: You’re Wasting Food
A Boston startup brings retailers, producers, and suppliers under one app to battle the ever prominent issue of food waste
According to UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme, ‘Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year—approximately 1.3 billion tons—gets lost or wasted.’ This is a scary number, which is why a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts named Spoiler Alert has designed an innovative and potentially highly effective solution.
Spoiler Alert’s mission is “to create efficient, connected communities that are empowered to minimize wasted food.” The concept itself is relatively simple: it gets surplus food to qualified food recovery nonprofits in an area that the user wants to help.
The specially designed app connects retailers, producers, and suppliers to close by nonprofits for donation or, for foods that have passed their sell-by or are inedible, companies that make fertilizer and animal feed. By allowing all sectors to communicate via one easy-to-use platform, each level can form a feasible plan to help each other cut down on waste.
It’s free to sign up for companies that donate and notifications are pushed through as soon as a new inventory becomes available. The app is also useful in that it records all transactions and communication so it’s easy to keep track of every participator’s actions.
It also makes it easier for donors to prepare tax deductions.
Both consumers and large establishments to this day have wasteful food habits, choosing to throw away leftovers and products ‘passed their sell-by date’ as opposed to doing something about it. What’s rubbish to them could be seen as gold to others.
Of course, the process of recycling for many brands and individuals is time consuming, and thinking about adding in extra tasks to do with surplus food may seem unappealing. This is exactly where Spoiler Alert comes in; taking away the tricky, time-consuming parts of the waste management process to encourage more and more people to get that frighteningly high figure of 1.3 billion tons down as soon as possible. Every little helps.
Emptying a bowl via Shutterstock