Would it surprise you to know that billions of dollars and millions of pounds worth of food crops go to waste every year (United States Food & Drug Administration)? Unfortunately, that is the reality, and with the novel coronavirus that has taken the world by storm, food crops are being destroyed at a faster rate than before. Just in the span of March to May of 2020, an estimated $1.32 billion was lost (Cagle). This is due to an issue of food supply not meeting demand. In other words, there is a lot of food crops but narrow pathways of where the food can go which has now become even more relevant with the closures made in efforts to stifle the ever-spreading virus. Often, the first thought that comes to mind is why not donate the extra food crops to food banks and the like to nourish those in need? As it turns out, the packaging and transporting process to donate the fresh produce can cost more than the price it would be sold for (Cagle). This financial constraint is the very reason that food crops are often left to rot instead of eradicating hunger. However, a long-awaited solution is in the app store of your very own mobile device. It is in the form of an app: MenuTables, an online platform tailored to home chefs, backyard growers, and farmers to share their hard-earned produce with a community of consumers.
MenuTables has one objective in mind and that is to provide a network between backyard farmers, backyard growers, home chefs, and consumers to connect so that the backyard farmers’ fresh produce and home chef’s cooked recipes can be sold locally. At first glance, it may seem like a long shot but this very concept that MenuTables executes so seamlessly can be the very thing that will revolutionize the world and make it a better place. Because the MenuTables application is structured to provide backyard farmers and growers with a platform to sell their fresh produce locally, it simultaneously gives the economy a break by alleviating the hassle of expensive transport and packaging and instead, making fresh produce and homegrown goods readily available to local consumers. Consumers are able to see what is being grown by backyard farmers in their radius or homemade recipes that are being cooked up in kitchens nearby. Now if you’re doing the math right, that means less food wasted. Any surplus of food crops grown by backyard growers and farmers will be appreciated heartily instead of left to rot as has been an ongoing global problem. When you really think about it, food wasted is not only a waste of the food crops themselves but also the water and resources that were put into growing and nourishing those crops to bear their fruits (U.S. FDA). MenuTables’ concept of eliminating waste through its social network and selling platform for backyard growers is making the water used and resources spent worthwhile instead of spent aimlessly. Take a moment to wrap your head around that. MenuTables also establishes a connection between communities where there may have been previously a disconnect. In the traditional supermarket, you shop for produce but you don’t know who grew it. But with MenuTables, you have a greater appreciation because you can put a face to the backyard farming that took place.
Along with the economic, food waste, and social benefits and positive implications on a larger scale that MenuTables has, it also makes for a meaningful side-hustle to make some extra income. You may have dabbled in backyard farming before but never received a stipend for it except for if you count your payment in the fruits and vegetables that the backyard farming produced. MenuTables provides that financial opportunity to earn in exchange for the labor the backyard growing entailed. MenuTables literally makes it as simple as planting seeds into the soil of your backyard and reaping the produce to which you can post on the app at a price of your choice. In this sense, your very own backyard can become a source of income for you. Or if cooking is more your element, you are able to share your cooked meals with the platform. It is the perfect opportunity for home chefs to get recognition and appreciation which can potentially open the door to opening a restaurant or food business down the line as their cooked goods get more exposure. And let’s face it, homemade food is the best food and often healthier than processed or packaged alternatives. If backyard farming and growing and experimenting in the kitchen weren’t already previous hobbies, MenuTables’ potential as an extra stream of income certainly provides an excellent incentive to do so. MenuTables is the breath of fresh air that backyard farmers, home chefs, and consumers alike didn’t know they needed. MenuTables establishes an all-around symbiotic relationship where everyone benefits.