Google Is Creating Tools to Tackle Hunger and Food Waste

A Google offshoot has created two new programs that make it easy for suppliers, commercial kitchens, and producers to route unneeded food to food banks that actually need it.

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Google Is Creating Tools to Tackle Hunger and Food Waste
Google’s New Project

Known as Project Delta, the machine learning programs take into account thousands of variables and different calculations, the things it would actually take a dedicated team of organizers to manage and ensure the food is going where it is needed most, where it’s most likely to get eaten, and other priorities.

Many commentators describe food waste as “a good problem to have,” as it inherently suggests that there is enough to go around. The problem is that it’s not always going to where there are hungry people.

Producers and sellers alike try to make as much as they think they can find buyers for, while the final stage owner of food – restaurants, supermarkets, or hotels, often have too many things to worry about and consider how best to send food further down the line.

The efficient distribution of food is a challenging job to take on all the way down the supply chain. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that 30-40% of the food in the U.S. is wasted.

Adele Peters covers the Google innovation and shares that there is no simple way for food suppliers to let food banks know what they have available, or for pantries or food banks to communicate what they need.

Food waste
Google Is Creating Tools to Tackle Hunger and Food Waste

A Great Way to Bank

Emily Ma explains that they set out to create a smarter food system. One that knows in what state the food is, its location, and where best to direct it to. This way, it ensures that it ends up to the people who need it most and not in a landfill.

Finally, in a more impressive display of machine learning, special cameras are installed next to waste bins in Google-facility kitchens. They were able to collect twice as much information about food waste as the manual by-hand logs that were made by chefs, which took about 30-60 minutes to complete.