- Beauty & Style
- Contact Us
Like Us, Follow Us
Your lifestyle, your quirk
Our country has a simultaneous problem with an overabundance of food in some areas, and an absence of food in others. Our shelters have trouble finding adequate food, and part of the reason for this is that not enough people donate their food to them. What’s surprising is that many restaurants and cafes have a lot of extra food at the end of the day…which ends up in the trash. This is due to “freshness” rules many food establishments carry, like not letting cookies sit around for more than a day.
(Editor’s note: They can give those cookies to me, if they want.)
These rules don’t mean the food is necessarily bad; it just means it isn’t as fresh, and when you’re running a business based on food, you want your product at its best.
Food waste first came to my attention when I worked at a well-known franchise coffeehouse in high school. We would have an abundant amount of food during the day: cookies, pastries, sandwiches, fruit, etc. We would sell a lot of it; but at the end of some days, we would have piles of food that had expired freshness dates. They were definitely still edible, but weren’t up to the franchise’s standards for selling.
One moment stands out in particular to me. We had ended a slow day and were cleaning up the cafe. My boss started tossing dozens of sandwiches into a large garbage bag. When she was finished, there were about 50 sandwiches in the bag. I asked her if she was taking them to a shelter. She replied by saying she was taking them to the trash.
I’m not sure why she threw away perfectly good food; maybe because it was a long day, and she didn’t feel like driving to a shelter. But this sort of scenario has played out over and over again at different venues, and as you can imagine, it adds up to a shocking amount of wasted food.
Students at Arizona State University have come up with a solution to that problem with their new app called Flashfood.
Flashfood alerts local charitable organizations that restaurants have food for them, and the organizations come pick it up. Restaurant and cafe workers don’t have to worry about anything; they simply press a few buttons on the app, and the organization is there to pick up the food in no time.
While this doesn’t solve our hunger problem, it helps the needy have better access to quality food. It’s also a lot better than putting perfectly good food in the trash.