(NewsNation) — Nearly 40% of food in the United States is thrown away each year, and artificial intelligence technology is helping restaurants, grocery stores, and other food-based businesses across the country reduce the amount of food that ends up in the trash. We are developing a solution that will allow us to track you. .

Two companies, including Winnow and Afresh, have introduced AI technology that can help food companies determine how much of the products they sell or use on a daily basis is wasted.

Feeding America estimates that 80 million tons of food is thrown away in the U.S. each year, and the amount of food that ends up in the trash is equivalent to 149 million meals. A total of 46% of wasted food comes from the food industry, and 38% of all food in the United States goes unsold or uneaten.

That's where AI comes in.

Winnow installed a camera above the trash can in the restaurant's kitchen, and the images captured by the camera are fed into an AI algorithm to determine how much food is wasted and the costs associated with what gets thrown away. Then the New York Times reported.

The company estimates that restaurants reduced their food costs by 8% based on perceived waste. A company spokesperson told NewsNation that the company currently works with 2,000 companies in 77 countries and counts corporate brands such as IKEA, Hilton and Marriott among its customers.

The company's customers save an estimated $54 million each year by preventing the equivalent of 45 million meals from ending up in the garbage. It is estimated that the average kitchen wastes approximately 20% of the food it purchases. Companies using this technology typically reduce food costs by 2-8%.

Afresh, on the other hand, uses artificial intelligence to monitor inventory and purchases in grocery stores to determine how much of a store's unsold items end up being thrown away. CEO Matt Schwartz said on the company's website that he founded the company to eliminate food waste and make nutritious food more available.

Business Insider reports that information generated by AI can now allow grocery stores to decide how much food they should buy based on what ends up in the trash.

Companies promoting this technology want to make an impact on the environment by helping restaurants, grocery stores, and catering companies reduce food waste. According to the United Nations Environment Programme, food waste accounts for 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The agency said reducing food waste at the retail, food service and household levels could have multifaceted benefits for both humanity and the planet. The technology comes as the world's population is expected to grow to more than 9.5 billion by 2050, increasing food demand by 60%, according to UNEP.

Meanwhile, more food is wasted, with 12.9% of the world's population suffering from hunger, and people living in poorer areas spending 50-80% of their income on food.

“This is an issue that literally gets swept away,” Winnow founder Mark Zones told the New York Times.

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