Headline, May 22 2024/ ''' A.I'S -FOOD SPYING- AIM '''

''' A.I'S -FOOD 


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A.I. IS SPYING ON THE FOOD WE THROW AWAY. The technology aims to reduce the huge amounts of waste in hotels and supermarkets.

A hotel chain installs a camera in its trash bins to spy on what guests are tossing. Turns out its breakfast croissants are too big. Many are going to waste along with profits.

A supermarket can suddenly see, hidden in its own sales data, that yellow onions aren't selling as fast as red onions and are more likely to be trashed. The brains behind both of these efforts : Artificial Intelligence.

It's part of an emerging industry that's trying to cash in on a senseless human problem :

The huge amounts of uneaten food that go from supermarkets and restaurants to the dumpster. Much of that, if it's not composed, ends up in landfills where it decays, sending potent planet-warming greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

ENTER a new business opportunity. A company called Winnow has developed the A.I. tool that spies on restaurant garbage. Another company, Afresh, digests supermarket data to look for mismatches between what a store is stocking, and what people are buying.

A.I. has a dirty environmental footprint of its own. Crunching huge amounts of data requires huge amounts of electricity.

Nor can A.I. [yet] alter what humans have come to expect in modern, industrial societies : an abundance of avocados at the supermarket all year ; an ever expanding variety of tiny plastic yogurt cups ; heaving platters of nachos on happy hour menus.

FOOD WASTE IS A BIG PROBLEM : The two companies are part of an emerging industry trying to address a problem created by the modern food industry. In the United States, a third of food that's grown is never eaten.

Globally, 1 billion metric tons of food went to waste in 2022, according to the United Nations Environment Program. Food waste accounts for 8 to 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,  roughly equal to emissions from aviation and shipping combined.

'' It's a problem that literally gets swept away,'' said Marc Zornes, the founder of Winnow, which works with restaurants, hotels and institutional caterers. Adding to the problem : confusing '' best by '' and  '' sell by '' labels on food products that result in perfectly edible foods going into the trash.

SOME SUPERMARKETS MAKE A DENT : Signs of progress are emerging from a group of supermarket chains that voluntarily pledged to reduce food waste in their operations in the Western United States and Canada.

Between 2019 and 2022, the eight chains that are part of the Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment  project reported a 25 percent decline in the total volumes of unsold food.

They also reported donating more food to charities and sending more of their waste to compost facilities, which are scarce, instead of landfills.

'' It demonstrates that the national goal to cut food waste in half by 2030 may, in fact, be possible, but we would need dramatically more action across all food-system sectors for that to happen,'' said Dana Gunders, head of Refed, a research and advocacy group that voluntary project's data.

There are many new tools now to help retailers cut waste. Some startups, like Appel and Mori, offer coatings for fresh produce so they don't spoil as fast.

An app called Flashfood connects customers to discounted foods at grocery stores, similar to, Too Good to Go, which connects customers to restaurants and grocers selling excess food at discount.

So, ' How Many Eggs This Week? '

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on The State of the World, and What gets literally swept away, continues. The World Students Society thanks Somini Sengupta.

With most respectful dedication to the World, Leaders, Corporations, Grandparents, Parents, and then Students, Professors and Teachers.

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SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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