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New App Aims to Reduce Food Waste in Restaurants

Waste not, want not

Winnow Facebook

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, roughly one-third of all food produced for human consumption each year ends up in the trash, making food waste a 1.3 billion ton problem. A startup called Winnow is aiming to cut back on the staggering amount of food that gets thrown away — in restaurant kitchens, at least — by offering chefs insights into how they waste various ingredients.

According to the Guardian, the app works to "identify the types of food they're throwing away, and, combined with data collected from an electronic scale, the smart meter can tell them the value of what's being binned." By putting an actual dollar amount on food waste, the hope is that chefs will find ways to be more resourceful and send less food to the trash. Some 200 kitchens have reportedly "cut their food waste in half" using the app; the Guardian cites one restaurant that "saved more than £5,000 in food costs in just four weeks" (that's around $7,300).

The London-based app, which "can be customised to reflect a restaurant’s menu," is in the process of expanding into more of the UK as well as Norway, China, Singapore, and Thailand. It's unclear if or when it will make it to U.S. kitchens.

Meanwhile, others are working to combat the food waste problem in unique ways — turning "ugly" fruits and vegetables into edible (and valuable) items, putting waste on restaurant menus, and even transforming waste into Instagram-worthy works of art.

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