In today's fast-paced and digital society, almost everything is tracked through mobile or on online means. However, when it comes to food, it is often tedious and difficult or the technology simply doesn't exist when it comes to tracking food waste and intake. This is extremely detrimental to our environment as food waste is valued at over $218 billion a year in the US alone, which is over 40 million tons, or 35% of all our food which takes up more space in landfills than any other material. Two of the leading causes are a misunderstanding of expiration labels and/or signs, and excess food with subpar means of keeping track of them.
What it does
Food Pal is an app that provides users with a digital fridge that tracks and educates on everything you need to know about food waste. The features of food pal include:
- A seamless system to enter food with its accompanying expiration date
- Recommended recipes based on the food you have and ones closer to expiring
- An image classification model that detects whether fruits or vegetables are still good to eat and for how long
How we built it
We built this using Swift and Xcode, Figma, CreateML, and the Spoonacular API
Challenges we ran into
The spoonacular API was a challenging one to use as it did not have an SDK for iOS development using Swift. Therefore, we had to manually build functions that called for the specific information we needed from the API. In addition, Due to our outdated Xcode, it did not support the usage of a physical camera to detect images in the ML model, thus we created a way for the user to take a picture and then upload it to the app.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We used SwiftUI and CreateML for the first time
What we learned
What's next for Food Pal
Currently, Food Pal is built for a family or individual use. In the future, we hope to expand our target audience to food banks, orphanages, hotels, and other places with large amounts of food so we can prevent food waste on a larger scale.