3d-printed snacks may help reduce food waste


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In an age where people still starve, food waste is a huge problem. (/stock)

Natalia Welzenbach-Marcu | December 26th, 2018

We’ve covered food waste before after Thanksgiving, but it’s a subject worth exploring again.

The WHO Food and Agriculture administration estimates that up to 1/3 of all food–at least, in the United States–is wasted before it can be consumed.

Sometimes food is lost in transport. Other times it is rejected by supermarkets when it doesn’t meet their standards. Much food is also tossed by restaurants in compliance with health codes.

Several methods, like programs encouraging consumers to use “wonky-looking fruits and vegetables“, are attempts to reduce how much is thrown away, but two Dutch students came up with an even more concise method: if food is wasted, why not repurpose the waste into edible goods again?

Elzilinde Van Doleweerd and Vita Broeken, both University students, experimented with 3d-printing food, focusing mainly on bread. Elzilide used mainly bread for her trial, as it’s the most commonly thrown away foodstuff in the Netherlands. After creating a bread paste and adding seasonings, she used her printer to create a snack that surprised even her with its quality.

She took the idea to her friend, Vita, and they both currently work and run Upprinting Food. They mainly focus on helping restaurants with food waste, but the future is bright for this pair as they search for more ways to reduce one of our most persistent problems.

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