Category Archives: Technology

08 Food Waste Wishes

It’s 2008, y’all (Happy New Year!), and high time to cut the amount of food going down the drain. Here are eight wishes for preventing food waste in this year: 1. Wal-Mart resumes food donations of edible but unsellable goods (The store halted its program two years ago). 2. More cities and towns follow the lead of Seattle, […]

January 1, 2008 | Also posted in Composting, Energy, General, Household, Restaurant | Comments closed

Keepin’ it Fresh

Last week, the kind people at Oliso sent me a Frisper Freshkeeper to test. What the heck is that, you ask? Why, it’s a vacuum food sealer of course.  Basically, it’s a home version of the machines that vacuum pack meats, seafood and other food items. The Freshkeeper comes with ziplock-like bags into which you […]

October 30, 2007 | Also posted in Household | Comments closed

The Green Arches?

Say what you want about McDonald’s (and folks around the world have plenty to say), at least they’re experimenting with environmental responsibility. In the UK, anyway. The world’s largest fast food chain is currently undertaking two experiments. First, McDonald’s is finally doing what many companies have done–turning to biodiesel as an environmentally friendly fuel source. Sorry “grease car” enthusiasts, […]

October 11, 2007 | Also posted in International, Restaurant, Waste Stream | Comments closed

Fridge Food Waste

How much does refrigerator size play into food waste? I hadn’t considered that question until reading this interesting discussion of the pros and cons of small refrigerators. In her post, “futurebird” explains how she chose a compact 8.8 cubic foot model. Part of her rationale is that when we tend to fill our refrigerators, no matter the […]

August 15, 2007 | Also posted in Household | Comments closed

Who Needs Humans?

Picking tree fruit is a tricky business. Timing is vital, as apples, pears, etc. must be picked before they’re ripe. If not, they won’t survive cross-country shipping and great quantities of fruit are wasted.  Making matters worse, orchard owners have a hard time finding pickers. In addition to standing on 15-foot ladders while balancing 35-pound bags of fruit, […]

August 14, 2007 | Also posted in Farm | Comments closed

Attractive Magnet

A few weeks back, I wrote about a mysterious magnet that preserves food. Well, Richard Chua, President of the magnet’s manufacturer (ESMo Technologies), read that post and graciously offered to send me a sample. The package arrived late last week and I’ll begin testing its powers as soon as I think of a scientifically appropriate experiment. In […]

June 18, 2007 | Also posted in Household | Comments closed

Sorting Waste

The National Restaurant Asociation’s 2007 Restaurant Show concluded Tuesday. While I wasn’t able to attend–they make journalists jump through many, many hoops–apparently environmental awareness was a big theme there. Exhibitors displayed plenty of recycling innovations like compostable cups made from corn. Much more exciting, though, LeanPath, Inc. unveiled its ValuWaste product. This product assesses the composition of food […]

May 23, 2007 | Also posted in Institutional, Restaurant, Stats | Comments closed

M.R.E(fficiency) II

We recently discussed military food waste, where I noted that more than a third of MREs are wasted. I learned this during my visit to the US Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Mass. From what I was told, most of the waste comes not from half-eaten items so much as untouched ones. Soldiers “field strip” […]

April 25, 2007 | Also posted in Food Safety | Comments closed


We recently discussed storage times for Meals Ready to Eat in the aftermath of FEMA throwing away $43 million of food improperly stored. On a related note, I just visited the Natick (Mass.) Army labs, where they develop MREs and all of the U.S. Armed Forces’ food. There, I met separately with Dr. Herbert Meiselman and Gerald Darsch, director of […]

April 23, 2007 | Also posted in General | Comments closed

Restaurant Technology: Our Friend?

I came across this article in Fast Company about Slingshot, a restaurant tracking system made by Avero. Restaurants, especially fast food companies, often point to their technologies like Slingshot to show they’ve trimmed their waste. While that’s usually true, by reading between the lines we can see that these systems can create another kind of waste. Paraphrasing the western […]

March 27, 2007 | Also posted in Casino, Restaurant | Comments closed