Since I have started to write these #lesswaste blog posts, I have seen a great and gathering interest in the global food system. There are more and more ways us hospitality professionals can combat food waste, but also there are increasing ways of enabling the individual at home to contribute to preserving, and ensuring, food does not end up in the bin.
One of the major changes in not only information technology, but also gadgetry, in recent times is the smart devices - phones, tablets and now even watches! If you went only one or two generations back and said the phrase 'There's an app for that!' to them, they'd probably have a confused look written across their face. The truth is these small software programs are big business and if you look hard enough there are some which are not just trying to turn a quick profit, but instead trying to use this new(ish) format to increase awareness, better our environments and generally trying to contribute positively to society.
1. OLIO - If you live in London, this is my top app recommendation! OLIO is one of the most revolutionary things I have seen in recent times, it combines the premise of sites such as Freecycle, Freegle etc. but is dedicated to food products only. The app (currently only London-based) allows users to upload posts with unwanted food, setting a location and pickup time (and price if really necessary) so other users that potentially need/can use the product can reply, thus theoretically cutting the amount of foo going into the bin. The great thing about this app is it allows the more immediate timescale necessary with food products that have a short shelf-life in that the app will provide real-time updates and notifications straight to your phone. Trust me, this app should get all the support it needs to become successful - it is a no-brainer!
2. Love Food Hate Waste - Love Food Hate Waste has an app available from the iTunes store (sorry Android and Windows guys/gals but I am writing this from a bias point of view, in that I have one of those cursed iPhone things!), it is essentially an app which can help you organise your fridge and food portions while giving some great recipe ideas at the same time. Love Food Hate Waste is one of the biggest food waste charities in the UK, having highlighted the need to cut down waste while creating tasty dishes for a while now.
3. Wise up on Waste - This is a bit of a curveball - it is an app designed by Unilever for food production professionals to easily calculate the wastage in terms of waste from food preparation, waste from cleared customer plates and waste from spoiled food. It requires bins to be coded into these different uses and to be weighed at the end of the day/service but once these systems are in place, the app claims that there are good savings to be made by cutting down food wastage - not to mention the other reasons for doing it. Perhaps worth a try for some stable, sustainability focussed food sites out there?
Finally, since we started our small #lesswaste drive, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has launched his own #wastenot campaign against the large supermarkets (they're his arch-nemesis). If you have not had a chance to watch any of the episodes, they are worth looking into (you may have to overlook his crusader-like delivery of the information) and it is probably a good thing to sign up to his petition online at www.wastenotuk.com. A.
For a foolproof basic Kimchi recipe, head to our blog post here.