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How to clean up the planet from food waste: the opinion of business analyst Elizabeth Keshchian

Elizabeth Keshchian
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According to the UN report, Earth’s inhabitants discard over 900 million tons of food annually. For comparison, if this amount of food waste were filled in 40-ton trucks, it would result in 23 million trucks, which, if lined up, could encircle the planet 7 times. At the same time, 690 million people worldwide, according to the UN, are officially classified as hungry. Paradox? Yes. But why does it happen?

Elizabeth Keshchian, a business analyst with expertise in the food industry, believes that in developed countries, the growth of food waste is mainly due to the consumers’ incorrect attitude towards food products. In other words, people buy more food than they can consume.

“Psychologically, the fact of a half-empty refrigerator is depressing, so when people raid supermarkets, they buy more food than they actually need. Stuffing their shelves to the brim, they forget that during the workweek, the maximum they allow themselves at home is a breakfast consisting of a cup of coffee, a handful of cereal, or toast. And on Saturday, while throwing away spoiled products from the past seven days, they go shopping again,” says the expert.

According to Elizabeth Keshchian, this also applies to restaurants that serve food in enormous portions, much more than one person can handle. And in supermarkets and public eating establishments, storage conditions for food products are not always adhered to.

In addition, the specialist notes that since 2016, according to the food waste reduction plan adopted in the United States, the expert community has already developed a range of innovative solutions, some of which are truly ingenious.

Condensation Absorbing Sticker

This invention is a disposable insert that needs to be placed on the inner side of the lid of a food container. Thanks to its special composition, the sticker absorbs the condensation that forms, thus extending the shelf life of both fresh produce and prepared food.

Markers on Packaging

This solution suggests attaching labels with special safe inks to the inner side of transparent packaging lids or food containers. As the product deteriorates, at each stage, volatile compounds inside the packaging react with the inks, causing the color on the labels to change.

Fresh Stickers for Fruits

This innovation aims to significantly slow down the ripening process of fruits. The protective compounds infused in these fresh stickers create a “cocoon” around the fruit, which extends the product’s shelf life by almost three weeks while fully preserving its initial appearance and taste.

An innovative solution, particularly useful for people with poor eyesight. It is applied not only to packaging but also to bottle caps. While the product is fresh, the label surface remains smooth and pleasant to the touch. However, once the expiration date is reached, the label becomes rough and heavily textured.

Sachet Membrane

The shelf life of fruits and vegetables can be extended by up to 80% without the risk of microbial, fungal, or mold spore growth. The packaging consists of three layers—a permeable membrane, a protective layer, and a special infusion with active biological ingredients that stimulate fruits and vegetables to use their own (natural) immunity to protect against spoilage.

“The critical growth of food waste requires urgent actions and innovations. By implementing a multi-faceted approach that covers the entire food supply chain, from production to consumption, we can achieve significant success in reducing food waste. Through technological progress, consumer education, surplus redistribution, closed-loop economy practices, and collaborative efforts,” concludes Elizabeth Keshchian.

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