Digital Labeling?

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Hunger is a huge problem of the world in the 21st century and will exist as there's no permanent solution to stop it for now. Some people are dying of hunger, while food waste is reaching enormous levels worldwide.

The amount of food lost or wasted costs 2.6 trillion USD annually and is more than enough to feed all the 815 million hungry people in the world - four times over. source

2.6 trillion USD? Do you know how much that is? Can you imagine? Hardly. At $20 700 price it's 1.25 billion BTC. But Bitcoin is capped at 21 million bitcoins in total, therefor not enough to cover that amount.

An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year, one third of all food produced for human consumption, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. source

These are shocking numbers no matter how you look at it. It's a huge loss every year and I'm not sure the situation is getting better as time passes.

Food loss means food lost in earlier stages of production such as harvest, storage and transportation. Those countries in which heat is something to battle, like in Africa, food loss is a huge problem. Think of dairy without cooling systems for example.

Food waste means food that are fit for human consumption but thrown away by supermarkets or by consumers as it get expired. There are programs, organizations that are using these products before going to waste (cooking for homeless or low income families), which is great but it still means a huge loss for manufacturers and farmers as they don't get paid for their products.

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source

A Swedish start-up is working on developing a labeling technology to monitor food quality in real time. Sounds pretty science fiction but it's going to be reality very soon.

Monitoring expiry date is not new, that can be done without any problems but monitoring the actual status of the food every day is not something you can easily do today. That's where this new invention comes in. Instead of having an expiring date, which can't be accurate all the time, you'll have the status of the food monitored instead.

The technology is based on measuring the volatile organic compounds which are emitted as gasses inside the package of minced meat. These gasses can signal how the meat is degrading over time. The new labeling has a sensor that can connect to a digital system or a smartphone and lets you know that the product is spoiling.

The Malmo based company is going to test it in the Nordics for now and wish to extend it to Europe.

This is another step towards transparency and traceability. In Italy for example there are dairy farmers using GPS tracking system on cows that make it possible for buyers to check where cows are grazing each day and products contain information about where the milk is coming from. When you have an organic, certified dairy farm, this matters.

This technology can minimize waste, extend shelf life and most of all, increase food safety. This is definitely a game changer but unfortunately it's not enough. A better management is needed and changing consumer behavior is also a must. Consumers need to learn to buy only what they need and not fall victims of discounting campaigns. How many times they think they are saving by choosing discounted products just to throw them away a week after as it's too much for their needs.

According to the article 20% of what is produced globally in the meat industry is wasted. The US leads with 45% and Sweden is right behind with 35%.

Financially this is huge and not only because of the income loss but because dealing with the waste involves more costs and has negative impact on the environment as well.

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We people need to change we waste food because you can buy it easily and cheaply that's the main reason I can think off. We don't think of the people who can't afford it & are suffering from hunger

I'm not wasting any food as I pay attention to what I buy and store but indeed, we need to be more careful and each of us do our part to contribute to stopping waste.

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what an interesting post. It is quite a clever idea but here the "problem" is the pricing and the results. For example, if the price is not good enough for the supermarkets per se, even if the idea is brilliant it won't pass.

Also, if for example, they find out that food in stores expire sooner then it also won't pass :P

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Don't worry, there's not immediate danger of this reaching Greece anytime soon as there's still in the prototype phase and testing it in the Nordics. Then comes Europe but in my opinion that means financially developed countries, like Germany, The Netherlands and others. But this is just my guess.

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What about universal basic income? What the Swedish are trying looks promising. Those numbers are groce, 20% of wasted meat worldwide is not good at all.

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Swedish are always coming up with something amazing. The numbers about waste are scary indeed, that needs to change.

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I don't quite get how the digital labeling can practically help reduce the hunger worldwide. Can you explain?

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If less food is being thrown away which is roughly 20 percent currently there will be more food available. By monitoring the condition of the food scientists and retailers can manage the selling of the products that better reducing wastage. Prices in theory should come down as wastage is built into the food costs currently.

If this technology can be used in countries with a poorer population and less technology available then less food is spoiled and thrown away.

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I can see this having an impact in a few years time as with less wastage there is actually more food to go around for everyone.

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It's a straight forward formula that I think would work if implemented properly

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I actually suffered a lot because of food loss. The problem is that electricity isn't available regularly, so even if you have enough food, it will get spoilt because it can't be preserved.

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The electricity problem had to be resolved at some point and that can help a lot. Let's hope it happens soon.

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I doubt it. It is a problem that has existed for nearly 30 years. The problem isn't unfixable, if anything, I think it is intentional.