Blockchain Solution To Global Food Waste

In the previous edition, I spoke of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain. I talked about how the adoption of these technologies introduces new financial freedoms that have and will continue to change our financial engagements for the better. I mentioned the benefits of Cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange for everyday transactions, the positive impact of decentralised finance and being personally responsible for our own money.

In this edition, I introduce a new concept and talk about the benefits of Blockchain for the purpose of recording, monitoring and managing the world’s entire food industry that includes farming, production, packaging, distribution, retail, consumption and waste, including the advantages of using Cryptocurrencies to incentivise those with a responsible approach towards this vital industry.

The aim is to revolutionize the food industry and to encourage people in the world to purchase food more responsibly and to practice sustainable food consumption. By buying less and wasting less food we can lower the production rate and share more of the food produced by distributing it more efficiently.

With a Blockchain based sustainable food consumption management program we become better eaters, which means healthier individuals. As we take control of our food consumption we reduce our waste in general allowing us to clean and repair the earth we severely damaged.

According to studies, the world’s population is around 7.8 billion and global food producers are producing food for over 11 billion people annually. Even with this overproduction food doesn’t reach those in demand. The world still has immense issues with hunger. There are entire nations suffering from food shortages, malnutrition and famine. Currently there are over 750 million hungry people across the world. This number is growing and it will reach higher if we do not implement measures of control and management soon.

Unfortunately, food wastage exists everywhere, in developed and underdeveloped countries. Roughly 40% of the total food produced globally is wasted. This figure is scary and disastrous when you put it into prospective.

In developed countries food consumption is more of a habit and life style than a life necessity. Food is easily available and accessible and because supply is usually greater than demand suppliers lower prices to be competitive. This promotes bulk buying which results in more wastage. We tend to buy more than we need, eat more than we need and wasting a lot more than we should due to greed and unsustainable food consumption practices.

In underdeveloped countries, food is wasted due to poor distribution management, lack of facilities, absence of resources and technologies that can create a safer and more reliable environment for the food supply chain.

Let’s not forget, the food we purchase comes with packaging. The world is already having difficulty dealing with the plastic waste we generate. Though many companies are being responsible by investing in recyclable and biodegradable materials we are still far away from achieving the results needed for a better Earth.

For us to address these issues and for change to take effect we must start to be responsible individually and collectively. This requires participation from governments, corporations and the public all across the world. But where do we start? How can we be encouraged to change? How to give up the satisfaction of eating what we want, when we want and the amount we want? Making these changes and still feeling happy is not an easy challenge.

I believe nothing is more encouraging than being financially rewarded.

Just imagine being rewarded for our purchasing habits, our consuming habits and how we handle our waste.

Although this concept sounds too far-fetched, I believe a global program such as this would inspire most of us to change. By choosing what we eat, how much we eat and what we do with the waste more wisely we earn money while doing well for ourselves and the world.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies can build a powerful, reliable, and profitable global sustainable food consumption management program and waste management system. The combination of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency provides the best solution for monitoring and incentivising this process.

As a ledger, data storage and the most effective tracing system, Blockchain is a fantastic tool for developing a sustainable food consumption management program because the technology enables us to track, trace and manage the food we eat all the way from the farm to the moment we put the food in our mouth.

A Blockchain is a distributed ledger that records information in a database like system, which is secure, transparent, anonymous and immutable. Blockchains are a massive network of distributed computers that keep information permanently in a cryptographic way. Let’s not forget that Blockchain is also the technology that underpins Cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralised mediums of exchange that run on a Blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are just like fiat currencies such as the Pound, Euro or Dollar with the difference that they are digital and cryptographically transacted. Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class capable of funding and securing decentralised independent ecosystems by tokenising the activities that take place in that ecosystem.

In the near future, when a sustainable food consumption management program is introduced, the global food supply, distribution, consumption and waste will all be tracked, traced and managed via this program. Each person would have his or her own unique digital identity on the Blockchain ecosystem with its own crypto economy.

Within this robust ecosystem the record of each person’s consumption habits will be logged. Members will be registering what they buy, eat and waste. In return, they will be rewarded in a Cryptocurrency for buying less, eating less, eating healthier, wasting less and disposing of their waste in a responsible way.

These rewards can then be used in exchange for other products and services. People and businesses across the planet can transact with each other using these rewards on P2P basis. Collecting and saving these rewards will be just as useful and good, if not better than traditional currencies such as the Pound, Euro or Dollar because Cryptocurrencies do not suffer from the same restrictions as fiat currencies.

People must engage with the system by disclosing necessary information so rewards are distributed accurately and fairly. This might sound intruding and could raise human rights and privacy concerns, but these concerns can be resolved by the anonymity, privacy and security that Blockchains provide. More importantly the financial benefits

of this program can compensate for the concerns.

The global waste management infrastructure will also have to operate on the same Blockchain system and it will benefit from the Cryptocurrency incentive program that supports and drives the ecosystem. In many countries waste such as glass, paper, metal and other valuable materials are exchanged for money. This custom can and should be applied to any waste on earth.

Sorting waste is a difficult and costly procedure. Once the waste has been sorted, valuable materials are separated, sold or recycled and the garbage that has no value is offloaded to other countries with a fee so it could be dumped into the oceans or buried in landfills. In recent years countries that were happy to accept the waste of other nations for a generous fee are now

rejecting and refusing to accept this huge responsibility. They finally understand the consequences and acknowledge that even billions cannot justify such an act.

The solution that I propose is for governments and waste management companies to change their course and instead of paying other countries to accept our waste in order to dump or bury them, they should divide the money they pay to those countries between their own citizens in order to encourage them to produce less waste.

Currently it’s easy for citizens to throw away rubbish and not think of the consequences. Rubbish is something we throw away expecting others to deal with it because there is nothing that tempts us to do different. With an incentive based program people will collect, sort and handle their own waste more carefully because they will have respect for the waste as it brings in a financial benefit that is unfortunately much more valuable to people than earth itself.

With this Blockchain based sustainable food consumption management program and the innovative waste management system, we will become better, happier, healthier and richer people because we will be incentivised for putting a stop to food wastage, hunger, obesity and environmental damage.

The above is a concept that is very achievable and not so far in the future, but this requires the action of multinational corporations, global leaders, governments and each citizen. The moment this is initiated and structured in one nation every other nation will follow suit. The sooner we act the sooner we can have a better life on earth.

WORDS BY ALI NARIMAN, a cryptoeconomist at iDEASiNPUT™

Disclaimer: The concept and the content of this article is a copyright of iDEASiNPUT™ and its author Ali Nariman. 2020 Copyright all rights reserved.