October 7th marked the first DFA Project Critique, it provided a platform for our team to share our ideas about Project Avocado and report the progress of our team. We received invaluable feedback from the audience, our team mentor Hannah Berkin-Harper and DFA faculty mentor Prof. Anne Laure Fayard.
Our success in May’s prototype and the Green Grant on our side, the enthusiasm and thrust to achieve our dream of a food sharing community has been propelled three-fold. With a bigger team and even bigger ideas Project Avocado showcased its plan for the future at the Project Critique. With an action plan about utilizing the fridge donated by GE and the cupboard downstairs at the Green-house of 6 Metro tech and making it accessible to students, the team broke down their presentation into the following chunks:
- Enabling Technology
The team orchestrated their combined power and dedication towards achieving the food sharing dream. But with great power comes great responsibility. Our presentation attracted a lot of fruitful questions form the audience and a meaningful discussion with our mentors.
The troubles that come with this project are that of any endeavor that involves the management of food capital over human capital – as any supermarket owner would agree – you can ask an employee to work overtime, but you can’t ask an apple to rot any slower. So, we must develop a long-term system that is as automated as possible that can keep track of expiration dates and the likes. The system is simple enough writing on sticky notes the expiration dates of items stored, checking ritualistically the freshness of the refrigerator’s contents, as the initial prototypes were; however, we see more potential than that. The process of automation is twofold: prioritizing what needs to be automated on our end to maintain something self-sufficient and determining what needs to be automated at the consumer’s end to ensure a low barrier to entry. Then of course we must task ourselves with developing a system that incorporates both ends of optimization symbiotically.
We must also concern ourselves with food safety and food preferences. Having a surplus is a great sign for combating hunger, but it is a bad omen for food waste prevention. If more food is deposited than withdrawn consistently, the food that would otherwise be wasted will be wasted anyway. Developing a demand-based supply will help combat this dilemma, along with maintaining a strong variety of foods for preferences and allergens. Keeping a flow of gluten-free, vegan, kosher, halal, and various allergen-free foods will both that food safety is maintained for the consumer and that the demand is met but not too far exceeded. Along with a strong variety, we must also maintain branding and promotion that attracts more of both supply and demand.
Great ideas to build on: incorporating a social texting aspect to the Project informing people about the food available each week in the fridge were some of the great ideas from the enriching audience all gathered at the Event-Space to give valuable insights.
All and all it was an enlightening event that gave our team direction. A huge thanks to Hannah Berkin-Harper and DFA faculty mentor Prof. Anne Laure Fayard and the wonderful audience and fellow DFA teams for their insightful feedback. Unfortunately we were so busy in our discussions we forgot to take a snap of our story board which was literally the fullest in the room with a bunch of feedback. Resembling like the one below:
Thank you all for reading this post & remember if you have food to spare, remember to share! Project Avocado is the way to a food sharing community!