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$750 billion in food is wasted worldwide every year
One-third of the world’s food is thrown away every year, according the U.N. Startups are popping up all over the world to reroute food waste to charities and people in need so it doesn’t end up in landfills.
Cropmobster reducing food waste with social media
Using social media and mobile alerts, Cropmobster has rerouted more than 400,000 pounds of surplus food in 12 California counties in less than a year.
Rerouting surplus crops
A gleaning for hunger relief charities took place at Bloomfield Organics. Volunteers found out about the event via email alerts through Cropmobster.
Harvesting crops for hunger relief
Volunteers help gather leftover crops at Bloomfield Organics for a hunger relief donation.
Cropmobster in action
Each time, an alert is shared via email, social media, and text alert. Cropmobster, which now reaches 12 California counties, tracks the transaction time manually based on what the farmers post.
Cropmobster delivers surplus crops
Cropmobster, run by Nick Papadopoulos of Bloomfield Organics, uses social media to connect farmers with surplus crops to people who need it.
Mobile tech to spread news of available food
Cropmobster posts photos on Facebook of ripe fruit on public property in the area, encouraging people to pick it before it rots.
Farms post their excess food on Cropmobster, and it is picked up on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Nick Papadopoulos, founder of Cropmobster
“The number one goal for me is that communities are not only recognizing food waste is a crisis, but that we become a trusted partner of communities to make sure as much financial value and awesomeness and creativity is created,” Papadopoulos said. “But we are keeping these things in those communities.”
The Zero Percent app
Zero Percent started out as a mobile app in February 2012, but has since grown into a web platform that helps donors and charities with logistics of pickups and tracks data.
Using the Zero Percent mobile app
A man uses the Zero Percent phone app to submit a photo of his surplus food available for donation to local hunger relief centers.
Grocers donating surplus food
Zero Percent reroutes more than 1,500 pounds of surplus food from Chicago grocers and restaurants a day.
Chicago restaurants donate surplus food
“It was an app for matchmaking initially, but now the platform allows us to look at logistics, cost effectiveness, and matching,” said Rajesh Karmani, CEO of Zero Percent.
LeanPath uses mobile technology to track food waste
LeanPath is a complete tracking system with its own hardware that uses a camera, a scale, and a touch screen interface to gather and transmit food waste data. The data is then sent to a cloud-based warehouse that spots waste reduction opportunities.
Plan Zheroes uses interactive maps to locate surplus food
This UK-based startup created an online interactive map to link places with food surplus to charities and people who need it. Right now, it’s free for anyone in London.