It’s a fair assessment that we Americans are a pretty wasteful bunch. I have it on good authority that in taking a peek into any grocery store’s dumpster this becomes abundantly clear. (When I say “good authority,” I mean a dude in one of my classes who exclusively wears thin cotton tie-dye pants and won’t shut up about it). The point is that we waste a ton of food, and I’m including myself in that. Not simply by purchasing food from grocery stores and then neglecting to use it before its expiration date, but by having to throw away leftover takeout food that goes unfinished. The good folks over at Leftover Swap are well aware of our collectively terrible habits, and have a solution in the works that seamlessly blends technology with altruism. They’ve created an app that lets you take a picture of your leftovers, then drop a pin to let others know what food you have available and how close to them you might be. It’s possible that I’ve been watching way too much Law and Order: SVU (false—there is no such thing as too much SVU), but I see a litany of possible problems with this idea. Specifically, the act of inviting absolutely anyone to come over to your house gives me pause (murderers, rapists and weirdos, oh my!), but the principle behind it is pretty solid. According to the Leftover Swap website:
-40% of the food we produce goes to waste
-25% of us don’t know our neighbors’ names
-70% of us are overweight
-16% of Americans lack enough food for a healthy lifestyle
“We are reaching the ecological limits that our planet can bear, and when we chop down forests, as we are every day, to grow more and more food, when we extract water from depleting water reserves, when we emit fossil fuel emissions in the quest to grow more and more food, and then we throw away so much of it, we have to think about what we can start saving.” You can download the app for free from iTunes, or learn more about it from leftoverswap.com.
In other food-news, 3D-printed pizza might soon become a reality. God, FINALLY! I’m glad at least some people have stopped trying to 3D-print dumb stuff like guns and are concentrating on the important things like pizza. NASA is funding the project to develop a 3D food printer thanks to their Systems and Materials Research Corporation. At first I thought maybe the folks over at NASA were depressed and were giving up on space travel in favor of hanging out in their zero-gravity chambers and eating pizza and Cheetos, but it turns out that they’re just trying to improve the food setup for astronauts. Oh well. Whatever results in pizza is fine with me. SPACE PIZZA FOR EVERYONE!