Kroger’s Chefbot Wants To Help You Limit Food Waste: We Tried It

To help customers decrease food waste at home, the brand is meeting them where they are: on social media.

Though my stack of cookbooks looks on accusingly, I often turn to my search bar for weeknight cooking recipe inspiration—and I appreciate that this new tool makes doing so even easier.

The process for using it is pretty simple: I snapped a picture of the three ingredients I had around and tweeted it @KrogerChefbot, who, in turn, confirmed it had identified my ingredients correctly. While it did mistake onions for cabbage, I was able to correct it, and we were off to a great start. Chefbot has access to Kroger’s vast database of 20,000 recipes, which means it should—theoretically—have an answer for everything.

Once it knows for sure what ingredients it’s working with, it will reply with a link to recipes using those ingredients—not necessarily all together, but in fun ways you may not have thought of before.

My favorite idea was using some slightly wilted baby kale in a warm kale salad to make the most of it. It was a great way to find inspiration from the ingredients I already had in my kitchen.

The program is a part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste program, through which they hope to help communities find a route to being free of hunger and free of food waste. The troubling reality is that though so much food is wasted, there are still many communities and people who don’t have access to enough food, especially healthy food. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure in 2018.

Food insecurity is a huge problem that, given the amount of food we toss, simply doesn’t make sense. Chefbot is Kroger’s latest initiative in a larger movement to become waste-free in the next five years.

While the best place to limit food waste at home is in your shopping, if you do find yourself stuck with ingredients you’re unsure of that you need to use ASAP, Chefbot can help you find inspiration and recipes that use what you have, without having to sign out of your social accounts.

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