This tiny sachet the size of a sugar packet can be placed in a crate of fruit and it makes the produce last roughly three times longer than usual. The technology, from a startup called Hazel Technologies, was created as a simple way to tackle one piece of the world’s problem with food waste. In the U.S. alone, each year, $218 billion is spent growing, processing, delivering, and throwing out 52 million tons of uneaten food, often because it goes bad before someone can eat it. Another 10 million tons of food never makes it off farms. “Agriculture is central to human existence, but despite that, we haven’t had nearly the same level of technological revolutions that we have in other world systems like energy or transportation or medicine,” says Aidan Mouat, the CEO of Hazel Technologies. “So I saw a real opportunity there.” [Photo: Hazel Technologies] Mouat cofounded the company as a postdoctoral student at Northwestern University. A fellow student and cofounder was studying a way to control the pathways that make produce ripen and eventually decay by mimicking the natural process; Mouat was studying the use of biodegradable, nontoxic materials that could control the same type of […]

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