Cutting "Ugly" Food Waste With Spoiler Alert

The problem of food waste, in which edible food that might otherwise be used to feed people is thrown into the trash, turns out to have become an opportunity for a Boston-based company called Spoiler Alert, according to Tech Crunch. The company has created a software platform that connects food producers to both charities and other businesses who might use excess food products that might otherwise wind up rotting in a landfill.

The practice for most food producers is to take food that is on the brink of spoilage or so-called “ugly food,” which is unsaleable at supermarkets because of its appearance, and trash it. The Spoiler Alert software allows producers to keep track of that kind of food and to find secondary markets for it.

For example, companies can donate food that is on the brink of spoilage to food pantries and charity kitchens that can use the product quickly to feed the hungry. Enterprises that use the Spoiler Alert software can access tax credits and other incentives offered by the federal and state governments and thus garner some income for what otherwise would have to be considered a loss.

“Ugly food,” which is to say food products that are perfectly edible but not visually appealing, can be sold to food process companies. For example, knotty carrots can be sold to a company to be made into soup. Bruised apples can be purchased by another company and rendered into juice.

The Spoiler Alert system makes everyone a winner. The hungry get fed, and the food producer makes some extra money on food products that might otherwise be wasted.