How would you help mitigate $180 billion in food spoilage?
food science public health food service environmental
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Small pic foodspoilage

In the United States, $180 billion in food is thrown away annually by consumers, grocers, and restaurants. Nearly two-thirds of this wasted food is fresh food, in order of quantity:

$40 billion: Fruits & Vegetables (produce)

$40 billion: Grains & Breads

$35 billion: Meat

Over 80% of consumers throw away fresh produce and 60% throw away Breads/Grains at least once a month. The average American family throws away $2,200 of food annually, one-quarter of which is fresh produce ($400-600). Clearly, there is great potential for products that can effectively reduce the amount of wasted food on an annual basis.

IMPORTANT: Please see the attached document for additional terms & conditions from the Challenger

Deliverables

Propose a new product(s), that includes at least one consumable (frequently repurchased, ex. soap, shampoo, diapers, etc.) component, that could effectively prevent produce spoilage and waste. The solution would increase the useful/fresh life of fresh produce, including both refrigerated and non-refrigerated fruits and vegetables. Please include:

1) A detailed explanation of why and how the solution works

2) A mockup/design of your solution to support its efficacy (simple sketches/mockups, CAD designs, etc.)

Mechanisms for food spoilage:

1) Humidity: soggy; wilty

2) Ethylene Gas: premature aging/ripening; color change

3) Mold/Midew: white/blue fuzz; black specks

4) Oxidation: browning when cut

Criteria:

- At least one consumable component, not including a bag/container ("consumable" is defined as a product consumers buy frequently, and use daily. Examples include: soaps, diapers, formula, shampoos, etc.)

- Function: Aim to increase the useful life of fresh fruits and vegetables by at least +50%

- Intuitive/easy to use

- Affordable enough to use relative to the cost of food preserved

    Submissions will be graded on the following criteria:
  • Meets Deliverables
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
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