Before talking about Expiration Meter, what it is and what it offers, I think it is necessary to establish some context, to explain the reason why it seems to me such an interesting proposal. According to the most up-to-date data in this regard, 1,364 million kilos of food were wasted in Spain in 2020. Of these, just over 1,040 million kilograms were foods that had not been used in elaborations of any kind.
In total, the figure worsens compared to 2019, although we see that there has been a curious variation, and that is that we see a decrease in unused food, compared to a significant increase in the amount of already cooked food that was thrown away. In any of the cases, however, we are talking about disproportionate amounts that, in fact, have given rise to several institutional campaigns to improve our habits in this regard.
Globally, more than one billion tons of food are thrown away every year, wasting a third of the food produced for human consumption. Even worse, the overproduction caused by this situation has a high environmental cost, to the point that the UN has included the need to rationalize consumption, due to all the beneficial effects that such a change will entail.
There are times when waste is unavoidable, but there are also many other cases in whichthe lack of planning and, above all, control of what we have in refrigerators and furniture in the kitchens, causes that on more than one occasion we discover, too late, that that flan that we have in the fridge and that we were saving for a special day has expired and, therefore, instead of giving our palate a joy, it ends up in trash can. And as you may have already deduced from its name, this is where Expiration Meter comes in.
With Expiration Meter, a free app available for iOS, you can keep track of the critical dates for the food you have at home. And I am talking about critical dates because a notable point of Caducómetro is that it differentiates between the expiration date and the recommended consumption date, so that when adding a new food to our list, we can specify adding not only the date, but the type of it, to have greater control of our pantry.
For each food entered, we can specify name, choose a descriptive icon of its category, select the date and, if we wish, add a note regarding it. In this way, Expiration Meter will not only help us avoid wasting food due to having uncontrolled its expiration date, it is also a great help when it comes to keeping some control over all the perishable foods that we have at home.
And this is where we find that Caducómetro doubles its usefulness, since in addition to managing the expiration list, it also has the shopping list function. In this way, the app becomes the nerve center for controlling the food that enters our home. To add a new entry we will only have to indicate what product it is, and assign the priority level in relation to its purchase. Regardless of the order in which we enter what we need to buy, the items will be displayed in order of priority.
Both the introduction of new entries and the elimination of existing ones is a really simple process, and thanks to a very careful interface, the learning curve of Caducómetro is practically non-existent. In less than two minutes from its installation, you will already be adding elements to both the list and the other.
And in this regard, and as a person who likes to have some control over the dates of consumption of the food I have at home, there are a couple of recommendations that I think you will find Useful to get more out of Expiration Meter:
- Go adding the dates of the products when you buy them. In this way you will avoid the laziness of having to do it when you have already stored them and, in addition, they accumulate, and you will also avoid not adding any food by mistake.
- Add your estimates of the recommended consumption date of what you have cooked. In this way its usefulness will grow exponentially and, above all, you will not risk that that delicious paella you made on Sunday ends up in the garbage can.
Caducómetro is signed by Paco Lara, long-winded developer and content creator that we talked about a little over a month ago, when we reviewed the My Drawings app, part of the ecosystem of the Emma Stories saga of titles. And as in that case, I cannot fail to mention the good taste in my mouth that both its design and its usefulness leave me. Food waste is a very real problem, and any proposal that helps us combat it is always a good idea.