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Why in the world are we dumping a third of our food?

By: Kiran Gange

50% of all bananas grown are never consumed. A full 33% of all food produced for human consumption is wasted. While decomposing food is one of the top contributors to global warming, 11% of the world population is hungry. 20,000 children are dying every day with causes related to hunger.

If human beings can build everyday commuter cars to efficiently travel over 10 Kilometers for every Liter of Fuel (25 MPG) at top speed with a full family inside, there must be a reason why we still waste 1.3 billion tonnes of our precious food every year.

Necessity, they say, is the mother of all inventions. So the reason why cars got efficient lies in the fact that the scarce supply of oil (or the high price most countries have to pay for it) drives the innovation towards fulfilling the demand for more efficient cars. Food on the other hand isn’t scarce enough for the entire world to worry about efficiency. However, when we analyze the long-term impact of food waste impact collectively and realize that the price we are paying is not from our salaries but from the future of our next generation, we recognize the need for change.

There simply wasn’t enough need to incentivize innovation on food wastage in the past. When economic numbers are not enough to incentivize practical business decisions at the individual levels, the world governing bodies with a higher purpose sometimes step in to support the cause. Take for example the big subsidies early solar panels enjoyed until they could prove to the world their direct economic impact.

With food waste technology innovation we are now witnessing support in the following order:

  • World Governing bodies such as the United Nations

  • Local Governments of many countries such as the Netherlands and Sweden

  • People who are worried about the future of our world

Now, with the motivation aligned with the newly defined need, we are seeing changes at different stages to help reduce the food wastage.

#1. Farmers: Production planning, crop health and weather independence

#2. Supply Chain: Intelligent storage and efficient supply systems

#3. Retailers: Intelligent ordering, dynamic pricing and food donations

#4. Consumer behavior: Right quantity, alternatives and finishing our plates!

Above all of the factors that can help reduce wastage, none beats the desire of every human being to make the world a better place. This can be a consumer, lawmaker, government official, farmer, entrepreneur or investor. When this happens, we begin to see the forces of economics aligning with the long term need to preserve our planet. As an entrepreneur and start-up, this is the reason we work hard. With the trust of our supportive investors and the willingness of the consumers, we have achieved the ability to demonstrate an economic impact to the early movers and altruistic retail organizations interested in reducing food wastage. They have also been rewarded with profit from the additional revenue generated that is paving the way for the forces of economics to take over. Together, we shall make the world a better place to live in — be it one fresh banana at a time!

RapidPricer helps retailers to increase margin and reduce waste by automating pricing and promotion in real-time, unlike traditional consulting solutions. Data sources:


  • UNICEF. “The State of the World’s Children 2008: Women and Children — Child Survival.”

  • RapidPricer pricing implementation and experiments with food wastage using artificial intelligence

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