FastCo Exist

Food Charities Can Now Be More Like Food Companies With Just-In-Time Food Waste Logistics

With a live crowdsourced map of food getting wasted, Food Cowboy is helping charities get there before it's too late.

When wholesalers and retailers have live produce that's on its way out, they throw it away. They can't sell discolored, blemished or bruised fruit and vegetables. They feel like they have no alternative. Nobody comes to collect the food, and, in any case, grocers worry about passing on possibly unsafe produce.

In other words, a lot of food gets wasted because of timing. There's no secondary system to collect the food—which probably still has several uses—at the moment it becomes available. One of the biggest reasons for food waste (the U.S. wastes 40% of everything it produces) is that people can't get to it quick enough.

It's one reason charities tend to rely on dry goods. They don't have the intelligence to know where the food is, the infrastructure to gather it (like a fleet of small trucks)—and certainly not the logistics planning system


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