In order to balance food supply and demand in grocery stores. The solution I can think of is to use the part of possibly will be wasted food to fill the part of insufficient fresh food vacancies. Cause the food justice issue I raised is people, consumers. So if I want to help address this food justice and alleviate it somehow, I believe the most direct and effective way is get closer to people as much as possible. Because of the universality and power of smartphones, I think a smart phone app is the best suited to help me accomplish this goal.
Although the cause of this social issue is people’s behavior, many times people is unaware that their behaviors would cause serious problems, if someone let them know that their seemingly ordinary behaviors will lead to serious social problems, I believe that some people would consciously change their behaviors in order to alleviate the problem. “Every year almost 45 billion kg of fresh vegetables, fruits, milk, and grain products is lost to waste in the United States. According to the EPA, the disposal of this costs approximately $1 billion” (Kosseva, 2009). I am curious how many people knew this astonishing data.
So about the function of the app, first, users can locate themselves via GPS, and then they can find supermarkets or grocery stores around them. They can check out a variety of information about these stores. Users are able to know a general data about how many food will left-over and disposed every day. And he or she can help reduce the avoidable wastes by buying intraday perishable fresh products that have to be sold every day. In order to attract users, the software developers can collaborate with some stores, so there could be a short period of promotion time about 1-2 hours before stores closing on the app. Most of the products in the promotion is the intraday left-over fresh food. Because of they are not in a perfect quality condition, so the price of these vegetables and fruits are very cheap. Once anyone placed an order, the grocery stores will keep the order till a specific time in tomorrow. Because this is a disposal sell, once the order placed, it cannot be refundable or return if the customer doesn’t show up still the reserve time. Then stores can dispose the order. From my research, some grocery stores prefer to toss the left-over food instead promotion, because they think it will cost more to repack the arrange the food to sell them again (Scholz, Eriksson and Strid, 2014). This app can help to manage the promotion, as long as collaborate with the stores. Because of the substantial price cuts, allow that the part of low-income customers are able to afford to eat healthy fresh food, thus they could acquire enough nutrition and avoid processed food or fast food that do not have many nutrition but a lot of fat and calories. So the app could improve the health of low-income people, but also reduces the food waste in grocery stores.
Kosseva, M. R. (2009). Processing of food wastes. Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, 58, 57-136. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1043-4526(09)58003-5
Scholz, K., Eriksson, M., & Strid, I. (2014). Carbon footprint of supermarket food waste. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 94, 56-65. Retrieved February 15, 2015, fromhttp://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.temple.edu/science/article/pii/S0921344914002626