Food waste is a huge issue in Canada, and it's right under our noses. In 2017, the National Zero Waste Council reported that an astonishing 63% of the food thrown out by Canadians could have been eaten. For the average Canadian household, that's about 140 kilograms of wasted food per year, or more than $1,100 per year! Nationwide, that 63% amounts to about 2.2 million tonnes of wasted food every year, that could have been avoided, totalling up to a whole $17 billion!
What it does
Reciplease aims to minimize these numbers. Using Reciplease, users can simply upload photos or scan images of fruits and barcodes to input the ingredients already in their fridges and pantries, and receive recipes based on the ingredients. Not only does Reciplease help people reduce their food waste, it also ends the tedious task of deciding what to eat, giving users a plethora of ideas.
How we built it
We built the front-end of Reciplease using React. For the back-end, we used Python Flask to make requests to the APIs and TensorFlow to implement our image-recognition functionality.
Challenges we ran into
Some of the biggest challenges we ran into were with connecting the front-end to the back-end, especially considering all the various functionalities we were implementing. Additionally, it was difficult to find APIs and datasets that fit the specifications and budget of our project, so we combined various features in order to implement our web app.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Our team is most proud of being able to implement a web app that addresses a pressing, universal problem that people all around the world experience. It was definitely a challenge putting everything together and we were glad that we could implement image recognition into our web app. It was very rewarding to see everything come together and provide a solution to a real-world issue!
What we learned
From creating Reciplease, we learned how to implement various APIs and image recognition into a React app. Some of these concepts were foreign to us and combining them into a web app was a huge learning experience.
What's next for Reciplease
A big next step for Reciplease is deploying our website into a mobile application in order to increase our accessibility for our users. Additionally, a user database could be implemented where users can create an account and continuously log and store the ingredients they have to allow them to save common recipes or ingredients. In the future, we would also like to be able to identify ingredients without needing to take screenshots from our live video feed.