Have you ever opened your fridge, just to close it and to have the cycle repeat 2 minutes later? It's a real problem. You find yourself a week later having to mass clean out your fridge. We've ALL been there. Our team thought that it would be great if there were a way to proactively keep track of the things in our fridge while having the freedom to explore new recipes.

What it does

Bento allows you to search through a database of recipes... the catch is, you search by the ingredients available to you, instead of the name of the recipe. This functionality allows for more exploration in the kitchen and less food waste. Instead of looking up a recipe to buy the necessary ingredients (which always results in leftovers btw), Bento challenges that tradition by forcing you to find recipes by the ingredients you already have in your home. Clean up your fridge and enjoy a delicious meal in one!

How we built it

We first tried to find a place to gather our data, ultimately deciding upon AllRecipes with Python. For about 10-15 hours, we web-scraped AllRecipes with BeautifulSoup, collecting around 30,000 recipes total for our website. We stored all of our information in a JSON file, and built our framework so that we could directly access each section of any recipe that we needed. We utilized React with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS for the front end development and design.

Challenges we ran into

As we had initially planned to use tinyDB, we found that it did not support sophisticated search queries, making certain implementations difficult for us to handle. We had to create a special lambda function to satisfy our needs in defining the specifications for searching through and receiving results. Because we also were working with a relatively big data set, tinyDB did give us a few problems in the speed department.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are extremely proud that in the short amount of time that we had, we were able to build an aesthetically pleasing, functional website-a minimal viable product to say the least. In the complications that we ran into, we found ways to "hack" them, and we continued strong throughout our entire process. We are also very proud of our team. Since the beginning, we were able to effectively brainstorm and divvy up the work so that all of us were working on something.

What we learned

As first time hackers, we did not know what to expect from the event nor from the product. We can conclusively say that we learned a lot about web development during the creation of our product, especially from how the final product was pieced together by the front and back end, on different screens/languages/APIs.

What's next for Bento

We do believe that there is a lot of hope for Bento in the near future. We have so many ideas on how to first of all, improve our current product by refining the search qualities, adding more information into our dataset, making the user experience speedier and more seamless. Aside from that, we also see Bento growing with future technologies to come. We are thinking of optimizations so that Bento could potentially track the hierarchy of importance amongst ingredients in the user's fridge-the closeness to expiration being the determinant of importance.

Room Location: Right Brain Room

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