Amazon’s Alexa Can Help You Stop Wasting Food
The personal assistant software now includes a skill that provides practical advice to curb food waste.
“Alexa, are my avocados still good?”
A new program from the Ad Council and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has teamed up with Amazon’s personal assistant Alexa to help fight food waste. The Save The Food campaign aims to help people cut their food waste, and since 40% of the food that is wasted in the U.S. is sent down the trash or chucked into the compost pile at home, it’s a worthy goal.
To help save food, Alexa can tell home cooks how to properly store food, so it doesn’t go bad too quickly, help hungry chefs decide whether a vegetable can still be eaten even if it’s completely wilted, and what you can do with a block of cheese or bunch of bananas that are about to self-destruct. The Save The Food skill is already part of Alexa's repertoire, so start asking for tips now.
Alexa isn’t the only one getting in on the food-saving fun—Chef Dan Barber stars in the latest Save The Food campaign. In the video, the famed chef behind Blue Hill and Blue Hill Stone Barns shows up at a foodie family’s home to show them how to turn the scraps leftover from making their dinner into a second delicious meal.
It’s a convincing ad that could have home cooks and restaurateurs taking a second look at the ends of their zucchini. While home cooks account for 40% of food waste in the U.S. the bulk comes from restaurants and food service providers. According to the NRDC reports, restaurants and food service providers make two to four times the waste of grocery stores, supercenters, and wholesale distributors combined, generating around 22 to 33 billion pounds of food waste each year.
The new campaign comes with NRDC's updated report on food waste—and a glimmer of hope. The report, titled Wasted, updates the data they originally compiled in 2012 about the environmental, social, and economic impacts of wasted resources, finding that in the five years since, “there’s been so much progress.” While there’s still a long way to go, thankfully we now have Alexa to help.