A Recipe for Less Waste in the Food Service Industry

Think twice before you throw out those leftovers—or maybe even take a picture. Globally, one-third of all food is wasted—1.3 billion tons of food in total. The U.S. alone trashes 40 percent of what it could consume, and much of this comes from the food service industry itself (which loses between $8 and $20 billion through food waste every year). Luckily, Andrew Shackman and his 10-year-old company, LeanPath, has found a way to change the way food service industry thinks about waste.

(Image via Shutterstock)
(Image via Shutterstock)
(Image via Shutterstock)

Think twice before you throw out those leftovers—or maybe even take a picture. Globally, one-third of all food is wasted—1.3 billion tons of food in total. The U.S. alone trashes 40 percent of what it could consume, and much of this comes from the food service industry itself (which loses between $8 and $20 billion through food waste every year).

Luckily, Andrew Shackman and his 10-year-old company, LeanPath, has found a way to change the way food service industry thinks about waste, SmartPlanet reports.

LeanPath’s core offering is a touchscreen tablet linked to a scale and camera unit. The system requires food service workers to weigh, log, and explain items being discarded, while also taking a picture. The data is compiled and analyzed so managers can evaluate what is being thrown out, see the financial and environmental implications, and incentivize better practices among employees. Most LeanPath customers see between 2 and 6 percent reduction in food costs.

While there isn’t yet a similar consumer option, this kind of data-driven thinking could go a long way for the home chef. We already Instagram our culinary successes—why not also document excess food to provide a reminder of how much we’re wasting?

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