Sometimes it’s inconvenient to do the right thing. Recycling requires work. Composting can be messy. Think about how long boxes of clothes stay in your car before they make it to Goodwill? A month….if you’re proactive!
Climate change requires our urgent attention however, and most of these efforts are imperative, food rescue being a primary example. The act of wasting food when people don’t have enough to eat is a tragedy that dates back to the beginning of time, retold generation after generation by fear-mongering mothers hoping their kids will finish dinner. Nevertheless, it’s a tragedy, and the way out begins with the click of a button.
The Future of Food Rescue
For innovators and thought leaders, technology provides advanced solutions to almost any crisis – including climate disruption and food insecurity. Given approximately 40 percent of the world’s food gets wasted, rots in landfills and creates methane emissions, food waste significantly contributes to this crisis. Further, a large portion of this food is edible and could feed the millions of people around the world who are hungry.
One way businesses with surplus food can reduce their carbon footprint is through food rescue. What if all you had to do to change someone’s life was put in an order? Just like you request an Uber, schedule a pizza delivery or book a haircut, your company could get rid of excess stock, help the planet, support your community, and earn lots of cool points. Done deal, right?
Enter Replate, a food rescue app and service.
Replate began as a way to enable this process. Founder and CEO Maen Mahfoud saw problems and sought solutions using technology and passion. Replate enables food donation pick-ups to be seamless and impactful. The company relies on sophisticated algorithms, predictive data analysis and artificial intelligence to maximize the efficiency of food rescue, meal redistribution and social justice. Anyone can share their lunch – true – but to solve large scale problems, it’s not that simple. Replate lets tech do the hard work.
There are other companies following this trend. The World Wildlife Fund recently partnered with a hotel chain group to create a system for managing and reducing waste using data collection and analysis. Software company Relex capitalizes on A.I. for greater efficiency in supply chain management; food-sharing app Olio just raised $43 million to connect neighbors with spare meals; and Canadian-based local foods market FreshSpoke enables produce vendors to ship stock in unused truck capacity identified by its patented algorithms.
All of these ideas stem from the principles of circularity, evaluating and reinventing business models so that nothing goes to waste. Not food, not space, and certainly not our planet. For business leaders and consumers, technology allows us all to participate in the battle to create a better Earth. If you can easily order food, you should be able to share it just as simply. The good news is now you can.