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Project: SmartBasket.

App / Game / Technology, Food Waste / Consumer Issues, Europe
Rome, Italy

Our Mission

Our academic and professional lives have been dedicated to tackling food security challenges. Food waste is one of the main paradoxes of the 21st century. Consumer habits will have to change if our lifestyle is to be sustainable in a world of 9 billion.

The Problem:

We have to feed 9 billion people by 2050, but we are currently throwing out 1/3 of all the food we produce. While current agricultural production is able to feed the world’s population, food security problems persist: 870 million people are hungry and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies. We could feed everyone and more if we simply made sure that all our food reached a plate...from Seed to Feed.

The Inspiration:

According to UN FAO, approximately 1.3 billion tones, or one third of all food produced never reaches a plate. In the US for example, this waste accounts for 25 % of all fresh water, 4% of oil use, and a total of 165 billion dollars (NRDC) being wasted. Climate change is putting additional stress on efficient use of agricultural resources that will be necessary to produce food for future generations. If we are to feed 9 billion people sustainably in the future, we have to stop over producing food that never feeds anyone. And in the developed world, consumers do most of the wasting.

In WRAPʼs the Food we Waste report, consumers were asked why food went to waste in their households. The survey concludes that food waste continues because:
• Lack of advance planning, skills and knowledge regarding food storage and preparation
• Retail practices that encourage people to buy more than they need.
• Lack of economic incentives to avoid food waste

From this report, its clear that consumers need better information about their food. We believe in new communications technologies as the best way to transfer information and enhance/facilitate people's lives. In fact, mobile users increasingly depend on apps to connect to and diffuse important information in a fast and convenient way. This is why we decided to create a mobile app to help consumers make smart choices and waste less.

Chamim Foroughi

AgroParisTech, France

Amanda Hickey

Cornell U, New York

Joana Borrero

INRS, Canada

Celine Dumas

AgroParisTech, France

BeeGeok Cham

Dublin Inst of Tech, Malaysia

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Project Idea Submitted!

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Your smart choice today feeds tomorrow!


SmartBasket is a mobile app that reduces food waste by helping consumers shop smarter at the grocery store. Smartbasket answers the challenge "How do we feed 9 billion" by reducing the amount of food we all throw out at home. When we waste less producers grow less. Conserving the important resources we need to feed the future is the main objectives of our project. SmartBasket is THE app that will transform the "supermarket nightmare" into a fun part of your week, while saving you money!

What if you could download an app for about a dollar, that would save your family 2,000 dollars a year while reducing up to 15% of food that is wasted? Our vision for SmartBasket is that it will help consumers at the grocery store shop and cook smart, to make the most of their resources.
There are a lot of factors that affect how long food lasts. These include the distance it traveled to the store, whether its in season, how its processed etc. For this reason, expiration dates can be misleading, and people have a hard time planning their meals effectively. Our app would take these factors into consideration and generate a smart shopping list with links to recipes, storage tips and background information of the food purchased.
It helps you purchase only the fruits and veggies that your household is likely to eat in time, reducing spoilage and overspending.
Moreover, you will be able to interact with your friends and neighbors and challenge them to reduce food waste together. Earn badges for creative food waste reduction while competing against your network friends.

The Plan:
First: Create an app that gets us thinking about food spoilage and reducing waste at home.


Our app will have six basic functions at first.
- Let's Shop: when arriving at the supermarket, you will select fruits and veggies with our help, according to how fast they will spoil. It will enable you to create your own "Smart List" based on your preferences, portion size needs, spoilage time and the most efficient ways to preserve your food (example: SmartBasket tell you not put two fruits that produce a lot of ethylene close to each other, as they will spoil faster).

- Once on board with your Smart List, the app will give great recipe ideas and tips for using forgotten foods and leftovers to make great tasting meals (zucchini bread for instance, for zucchini thats gone mushy).

- At home, the app will remind you of some fruits/veggies you may have forgotten and prioritize them in the days ahead.

- Games/FUN/Badges: in order to make it interactive, you will have your own profile and will be able to challenge and compete with your friends while unlocking badges and rewards, such as Master Chef, Phood Photographer, Creative Cook etc. These will likely work as partnerships with existing apps, food blogs, recipe websites etc. The app integrates fun and games into all aspects of household food use: shopping, storing, cooking and eating!

-Educational facts and quizes (customized for different demographics based on the user profile) help consumers learn about food travel distance, whats in season vs. out, and fun recipes: these games promote food waste awareness and foster a greater connection to food consumption.

- A portion planner that will help you calculate how much food you will need for your family size and preferences.
The meal planner then works in concert with smartlist, discovering your meal preferences and using them to inform your shopping choices.

Next up: Create partnerships with regional supermarket chains to promote the app and ensure that it runs on the best possible data for users in that community.

These relationships will be mutually beneficial: the supermarket offers a service to its customers that saves them money (SmartBasket!), and gains a way to promote their chain. As an added bonus, SmartBasket helps generate information on consumer spending habits and thus helps retailers to best align their promotional offers to consumer needs !

Looking Ahead:

Team Seed to Feed believes strongly that SmartBasket can be a popular (and fun!) app and also an effective food waste reduction strategy. We are ready to move forward with our business plan and have taken the following steps:

1. Assembled a team of techie collaborators to create the prototype: Our team consists of three young professional geniuses specializing in software engineering, graphic design, general computer excellence (!) who have experience working for a certain large international food agency.
2. Analyzed the market and our main competitors :
- Talked about our project with potential users.
- Scrutinized consumers' expectations and needs
- Examined market opportunities and threats
3. Made a budget by taking into consideration expenses for:
- app development (store locator, RSS etc),
- app design, and
- communication
4. Identified potential collaborators that SmartBasket could work synergistically with, as mentioned above: Supermarket chains, food blogs, recipe websites and other popular apps.


Team Objectives

  • Reduce food waste and post-harvest losses  
  • Preserve the resources we will need to feed 9 billion  
  • Help the consumer make smart choices at the supermarket  
  • Make reducing waste fun with games and challenges  

Process, Ideation, and Creation

Chamim Foroughi
May 20, 2013

Agricultural Innovation in Africa

Chamim Foroughi
May 15, 2013

Results coming in 5 days!!

Seed to Feed Team can't wait to have the results of Round 1! We are very excited of starting to really build the app with our computer designers! Hope it will work ;)

Chamim Foroughi
May 10, 2013


We just reached 350 likes and we wanted to thank everyone who supported SmartBasket. It really means a lot to us, since it is our little baby and we want to make it grow :)


BeeGeok Cham
May 9, 2013

Nice quotes

Don't be blind. World Hunger Exists

Chamim Foroughi
May 9, 2013

Very interesting Food Security Report: AVOIDING FUTURES FAMINES

Strengthening the Ecological Foundation of Food Security through Sustainable Food Systems

Amanda Hickey
May 8, 2013

What does your weeks worth of groceries look like?

BeeGeok Cham
May 8, 2013

Top five tips on cutting down your food waste

According to a government-backed anti-waste campaign, discarding food costs the average household £480 a year, rising to £680 for a family with children, the equivalent of about £50 a month.

Although household food waste has fallen by 13 per cent across Britain since 2006, families still discard 7.2 million tons of food and drink at home every year, most of which could have been eaten, officials said.

Chamim Foroughi
May 7, 2013

Very interesting workshop on The Fight agains Food Waste coming up!

BeeGeok Cham
May 7, 2013

Food Waste Remains a Big Problem for 2013

Food waste is a big problem in industrialized countries. The economic impact of food waste in the U.S. is equivalent to $197.7 billion, according to a report by the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition (BCFN). Titled Food Wastes: Causes, Impacts and Proposals, the report estimates that waste during the consumption stage in the U.S. is equivalent to $124.1 billion. The costs on average for a family of four are about $1,600 a year. In the distribution state, food waste equals $64.6 billion.

Amanda Hickey
May 7, 2013

Save Food! Declaration

From the Save Food! Conference

Chamim Foroughi
May 6, 2013

Make SmartBasket become Real by voting for us!!

BeeGeok Cham
May 6, 2013

Don't Throw That Out! LeanPath Harnesses Data to Fight Food Waste

Customers can upload the data collected by the scale via flash drive or cables, and the company’s software can spit out all sorts of graphs and charts for managers.

BeeGeok Cham
May 5, 2013

The global food waste scandal

Western countries throw out nearly half of their food, not because it’s inedible -- but because it doesn’t look appealing.

Celine Dumas
May 5, 2013

General overview of food waste in Europe

Celine Dumas
May 3, 2013

Food waste compelling data !

Celine Dumas
May 3, 2013

How America Is Losing Up to 40 Percent of Its Food from Farm to Fork to Landfill

Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S.
land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the
United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165
billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S.
municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions. Reducing food losses by
just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in
six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Increasing the efficiency of our food system is a triplebottom-
line solution that requires collaborative efforts by businesses, governments and consumers. The U.S.
government should conduct a comprehensive study of losses in our food system and set national goals for waste
reduction; businesses should seize opportunities to streamline their own operations, reduce food losses and save
money; and consumers can waste less food by shopping wisely, knowing when food goes bad, buying produce that
is perfectly edible even if it’s less cosmetically attractive, cooking only the amount of food they need, and eating
their leftovers.

Celine Dumas
May 3, 2013

Europeen stop food waste campaign

About 90 million tons of food is wasted annually in Europe - agricultural food waste and fish discards not included.
About a third of the food for human consumption is wasted globally - around 1.3 billion tons per year, according to FAO;
Food waste in industrialized countries is as high as in developing countries:
In developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing;
In industrialised countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level.
Food is wasted throughout the whole food chain -- from farmers to consumers -- and for various reasons.

BeeGeok Cham
May 3, 2013

Hunger : The world's greatest solvable problem

We have a problem.
870 million people go to bed hungry each night.
One in Eight

That's reason enough to start solving hunger.
But there's more.

Nourished women have healthier, heavier babies whose immune systems are stronger for life.

Studies show that by addressing child undernutrition, countries can significantly increase their GDP.

Now Listen up!
We know how to solve hunger

Provide food in emergencies
Support smallholder farmers
Give children vital nutrition
Empower women and girls
Build food safety nets
Support local food markets

Working together -- citizens, companies, and governments

WE can make it happen.

Hunger | The world's greatest solvable problem

Chamim Foroughi
May 3, 2013

How General Mills Uses Food Technology to Make an Impact in Africa

Chamim Foroughi
May 3, 2013

Progress is made on food in American schools

BeeGeok Cham
May 3, 2013

Electronic sensor that smell for you.....

What if you could tell how fresh a half-gallon of milk was or how long a pound of salmon would keep -- not from the "sell by" date on the packaging, but from the food itself?

Chamim Foroughi
May 3, 2013

Mobiles are necessary for the agriculture sector everywhere in the world!

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

Interesting conference on Policymaker's responses to food prices crisis

Amanda Hickey
May 2, 2013

Lets help you visualize this...

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

You too, become a Changemaker! Entrepreneur wave!

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

Very interesting side event on nutrition-sensitive landscapes

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

Interesting article on the tea and its trade in the world in general

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

Very interesting blog on the Future of Food

Chamim Foroughi
May 2, 2013

Farming apps - Virtual fields - TIc are getting strong in the agriculture sector!

Check out this very interesting The Economist article about TIC in Agriculture, mobile apps and getting connected everywhere!

Amanda Hickey
May 1, 2013

Check it out

Knowing more about spoilage = wasting less!!!

Chamim Foroughi
April 29, 2013

Pitch Seed to Feed Team - Smart Basket - Discover the story of Jo!

Jo can be you, me, anyone in the world. Jo behaves like he is used too until one day when he realizes he can create a mobile app that will help him make smart consumption choices: SmartBasket is born.

Joana Borrero
April 22, 2013

The Next Billions: Business Strategies to Enhance Food Value Chains and Empower the Poor

The World Economic Forum is pleased to present
this report on innovative business models that can
improve sustainable food production and help to
reduce poverty in developing countries.

For the past four years, the Forum has served as a
platform for leaders to define and work together on
business-led and multi-stakeholder solutions for
sustainable food production. Our activities include
facilitating multi-stakeholder leadership action
through the Global Agenda Council on Food
Security; undertaking the research and thought
leadership seen in this and other reports; and
facilitating the Business Alliance Against Chronic
Hunger which is implementing on-the-ground
solutions in Kenya. This portfolio of work is
championed by the Forum’s Consumer Industries
community with support from the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation. We greatly appreciate the Gates
Foundation’s support for preparation of this report.
This project was based on a broad research survey
plus three cross-industry, multistakeholder
roundtables conducted in Latin America, Africa and
Asia during 2008. The research survey included
review of 60 reports and collection of 200 case
studies from primary and secondary sources. The
roundtables provided ground-level insights from
practitioners – ranging from multinational and
regional companies to social entrepreneurs – who
are pioneering these business models on the

The report documents a series of commercially
viable business models that have proven effective at
strengthening food value chains in developing
countries, and offers recommendations for scaling
them up. It presents examples of specific business
approaches that can engage poor producers,
consumers and entrepreneurs along the food value
chain. It outlines design principles for companies
interested in developing such initiatives, and
suggests actions that all stakeholders can take to
facilitate expansion of these business approaches.

Joana Borrero
April 17, 2013

AppliFish, marine knowledge at the touch of a button

New app offers information of over 550 marine species

With AppliFish consumers can choose fish that's not endangered
12 March 2013, Rome - You want to know more about the fish you are eating or going to buy? Is it maybe an endangered species? AppliFish will tell you. This free mobile application developed by the fisheries and biodiversity knowledge platform i-Marine makes aquatic-related information available to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

While human consumption of fish products has doubled in the last half century, policies for sustainable use of aquatic ecosystems must address the challenges facing global fish stocks.

Some 30 percent of the world's marine fish stocks assessed in 2009 were overexploited, according to FAO's State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2012.

"With AppliFish, consumers can choose fish that's not endangered, helping ensure that there will be enough for future generations," says FAO's Marc Taconet, Senior Fishery Information Officer and chair of the iMarine board. "Consumers can also use the application to learn more about species, capture levels and habitats, as well as the level of threats faced by these species."

Joana Borrero
April 12, 2013

The e-Agriculture Community

The e-Agriculture Community

e-Agriculture is a global Community of Practice, where people from all over the world exchange information, ideas, and resources related to the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for sustainable agriculture and rural development.

With over 9,000 members from 160 countries and territories, the e-Agriculture Community is made up of individual stakeholders such as information and communication specialists, researchers, farmers, students, policy makers, business people, development practitioners, and others.

The members have a common interest that brings us together: improving policies and processes around the use of ICT in support of agriculture and rural development, in order to have a positive impact on rural livelihoods.

Celine Dumas
April 9, 2013

Food Waste within the Food Supply Chain (FSC) - At which point along the FSC losses are critical ?

Chamim Foroughi
April 8, 2013

Technology may help farmers improve yields, but it can't end hunger on its own

Improving agronomical techniques is mandatory in the process of ending hunger. But it has to be made in parallel with agribusiness development, mobile apps, data management... The agricultural sector must think "out of the box"

Joana Borrero
April 6, 2013

CFS/HLPE Open E-Consultation on Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012) requested the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), to undertake a study on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’ to be presented to the Plenary in 2014. This report has to be policy oriented, practical and operational.

As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is launching an e-consultation to seek views, public feedback and comments, on the pertinence and interconnections of some key questions that the report proposes to address, in line with the request from the CFS, and that could form the building blocks of the report. References of global and national studies and data on the subject, especially on food waste, are also welcome.