Obviously, it is impossible to live without food, and nowadays it seems it is becoming increasingly difficult to live without technology. It’s not one of those life or death things such as air or water, but without it, I’m not sure what a lot of us would do with ourselves. With the importance we place on food, it’s no surprise technology has taken an interest in the industry and changed the way your food is grown, processed, and gets on your plate.
Here are some of the ways technology is changing the food industry.
Drones often get a bad rap, but there are a lot of ways they could positively be used in the food industry. Tel Aviv-based Flytrex brought drones technology into the world of food delivery and last month, the company started working with AHA, an Icelandic e-commerce service, to deliver food to customers. The Google Wing Project also dreams of pizza delivery drones [don’t we all?].
Drones aren’t just helping you get over your hangover without having to light up the stove, though. They also serve a purpose in the agriculture sector. By using drones, farmers will find it easier to monitor crops, planting, and execute soil and field analysis.
Tracking food waste
The world wastes about one third of its produced food every year. Which is a ton of food that could be used as fertilizer, be donated to local shelters, or simply just eaten by you! Technology is being used to track the amount of spare food and stop it going to waste. This is done through social media and crowdfunding, where users post the contents of their fridge or cupboards online, and people respond to collect it (before it spoils). One of these platforms is Crop Mobster, a community exchange program that supports local farmers and helps get unused food out into the community.
There’s also the app 222 million tons, where users can purchase a weeks worth of groceries, properly proportioned for a single individual or two-person household. With one-week menus, users can ensure they get variety in their diet without having to buy large quantities of food that they will not be able to finish before they spoil (really, how’s a single person supposed to get through a head of cabbage, a bunch of celery, or an entire loaf of sliced bread on their own?).
Access to recipes
Long gone are the days of your grandmother’s cookbook. Nowadays you can find a recipe for pretty much anything imaginable. Foodies can now access blogs, websites, and videos with detailed instructions on how to make just about anything.
But what if you don’t have the ingredients to make the incredible thing you’ve found on Pinterest? Have no fear, websites such as Supercook and My Fridge Finder allow you to select what ingredients you have and then tells you what kinds of meals you can make. Just try searching a random assortment of ingredients, and you’ll be returned combinations you never thought imaginable.
Online food shopping
I was first introduced to online food shopping about ten or so years ago. Before, I was caught in the monotonous drudgery that is working all day only to then go to the supermarket straight after. NOt only did it eat up my precious free time, but also supermarkets, in general, are not fun places to be. To combat the blah factor, many supermarkets have adopted the home delivery method, in England, chains such as Tesco or ASDA allow customers to order their weekly groceries and have them delivered.
If you’re somebody who prefers to know exactly where their food comes from, Pantry Perks might be the place for you. Aside from only sourcing organic foods, they also offer a reward system, not unlike the points you often get at supermarkets. Using a referral program, users get cash-back on purchases their referrals make, and any purchases that their referrals’ referrals make [if that makes sense…] These points can be used for discounted groceries at the store, so you save up your money to fund your passions.
On top of that, Pantry Perks donates 1% of every transaction to the charity of your choosing. Who knew organic food could be so good for you?
It is no surprise that food and technology go hand in hand, and with the ever-expanding avenues of potential within the tech industry, all aspects of food manufacturing and serving are ripe to be explored.