+
upworthy
Innovation

This organization is revolutionizing food supply chains to minimize waste

Spoiler Alert pairs CPG manufacturers with discount retailers to keep food out of landfills

This organization is revolutionizing food supply chains to minimize waste

Members of the Spoiler Alert team volunteer at Waltham Fields Community Farm in Waltham, MA

Nearly 120 billion pounds of food go to waste in the U.S. each year. This waste not only contributes to food insecurity, which millions of Americans are impacted by, but also has a detrimental impact on our climate. In large part, this comes down to a misallocation of resources.

We need to bridge the gap between food waste, the planet, and those in need. By doing so, we can drive sustainable food systems and get food to those who need it most. In fact, Project Drawdown has found that reducing food waste is the number one most impactful solution to climate change.

The foundations of Spoiler Alert were laid during my time at MIT Sloan in 2013 when I met my soon-to-be co-founder Emily Malina. With my consulting experience with brands and retailers on carbon, water, energy and waste initiatives and Emily’s background in supply chain transformation and technology adoption, we knew there was a supply chain solution that could help businesses better manage their food waste. That’s when we started Spoiler Alert.

Ricky Ashenfelter & Emily Malina, Co-founders of Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert is a B2B waste prevention software that helps CPG brands better manage excess and short dated inventory. This inventory arises from various sources, whether that’s overproduction, unsuccessful innovations, seasonal items, or promotional packaging.


We’ve built a sales and supply chain platform that provides manufacturers with the workflows, pricing intelligence, and networking tools to effectively discount this excess inventory that they’re not able sell to their normal everyday customers and prevent unnecessary waste.

Years later, we’re proud to be working with some of the largest brands in the world like Campbell Soup Company, Danone North America, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, and Kraft Heinz, and to have a team that’s as mission-driven and excited about our work as we are. Spoiler Alert’s commitment to its mission goes beyond software solutions. We’re a remote-first company that cares deeply about DEI, impact, and giving back to our local communities. We hold quarterly volunteer days that connect back to our work on food waste, and we’re proud members of Pledge 1%.

In 2022 alone, our platform helped manufacturers sell 325 million pounds of food that would otherwise have gone unsold. That’s the equivalent impact of 270 million meals, or taking almost 13,000 cars off the road for a year.

Today, we’re focused on continuing to connect with new brands to help optimize their supply chains. But we’re also seeing how impactful these same process improvements can be for items outside of food, like health and beauty care, which still have expiration dates and are at risk of going to waste.

Along with our dedicated customers, we're on a mission to make an impact on processes, people, and the planet.

Image from Pixabay.

Under the sea...

True
The Wilderness Society


You're probably familiar with the literary classic "Moby-Dick."

But in case you're not, here's the gist: Moby Dick is the name of a huge albino sperm whale.

(Get your mind outta the gutter.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

More parents are taking 'teen-ternity leave' from work to support their teenage kids

Parenting through the teen years takes a lot more time and energy than people expect.

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

Raising kids through adolescence is not for the faint of heart.

When you have a baby, it's expected that you'll take some maternity or paternity leave from work. When you have a teen, it's expected that you'll be in the peak of your career, but some parents are finding the need to take a "teen-ternity leave" from work to support their adolescent kids.

It's a flip from what has become the traditional trajectory for modern parents. Despite the fact that the U.S. is the only developed nation in the world to not have mandated paid parental leave, most parents take at least some time off when a baby is born to recover physically from pregnancy and birth and to settle into life with their tiny new human. Many parents then opt to have one parent stay home full-time during their children's younger years, as full-time childcare is often cost prohibitive, and raising babies and toddlers requires an enormous amount of time, attention and energy.

Parents often return to work when their kids are in school full-time, and many feel a bit of a respite from the relentlessness of parenting as their kids become more independent and capable of doing things on their own. It's not that older kids don't need their parents, but their needs are different. Physical parenting gives way to more complex emotional parenting as kids get older, and for a while, those emotional challenges are somewhat simple.

Then the tween years come along. Then the teens. And for some parents, a realization hits that parenting kids through puberty takes almost as much time, attention and energy, as toddlers do. Only now, those needs are much more complicated and consequential.

Keep ReadingShow less

Tony Trapani discovers a letter his wife hid from him since 1959.

Tony Trapani and his wife were married for 50 years despite the heartache of being unable to have children. "She wanted children,” Trapani told Fox 17. "She couldn't have any. She tried and tried." Even though they endured the pain of infertility, Tony's love for his wife never wavered and he cherished every moment they spent together.

After his wife passed away when Tony was 81 years old, he undertook the heartbreaking task of sorting out all of her belongings. That’s when he stumbled upon a carefully concealed letter in a filing cabinet hidden for over half a century.

The letter was addressed to Tony and dated March 1959, but this was the first time he had seen it. His wife must have opened it, read it and hid it from him. The letter came from Shirley Childress, a woman Tony had once been close with before his marriage. She reached out, reminiscing about their past and revealing a secret that would change Tony's world forever.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

People are debating the merits of a 24-hour daycare and the discussion is eye-opening

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the need for this.

StableDiffusion

Are 24-hour daycares a good idea?

Millions of American parents utilize daycare centers while they work. Since most people work during the day, most daycare center hours fall somewhere between 7:30am and 5:30pm. It's rare to find a daycare that's open after normal working hours.

But one "24-hour" daycare in Houston captured people's attention—and sparked a debate—when a mom posted about it on TikTok.

Adventure Kids Playcare in Houston isn't actually open 24 hours a day but it does offer childcare up to 10:00pm during the week and until midnight on Friday and Saturday nights. In the video, the mom drops her daughter off and we hear the employee tell her they close at midnight. The mom later says she picked her daughter up at 11:55pm.

Reactions to the video rand the gamut from "24-hour daycares are a brilliant idea for parents who work odd shifts" to "Moms shouldn't be leaving their kids at a daycare late at night just so they can go out," sparking a fascinating and eye-opening discussion.

Keep ReadingShow less

A dad is looking for a little more respect at home.

The title of dad or father is a sweet and respectful way to acknowledge a child's special bond with their male parent. It signifies love and respect and shows appreciation for his role in their life. But the title works both ways. The term dad reminds fathers of the responsibility to guide and protect their kids.

The importance of the unique role dads play in their kids’ lives is why a father named Steve was upset with his wife for repeatedly using his first name when referring to him with their preteen children.

The father vented about the situation and asked if he was wrong in a Reddit post with over 10,000 responses.

“My wife recently started using my first name when referring to me to our preteen kids, as in ‘Steve's gonna pick you up from school tomorrow,’” the father wrote on Reddit’s AITA forum. “I asked her not to when I first heard it, saying I don't really like when you use my first name to the kids. Can you say ‘your dad’ or ‘dad’?”

Keep ReadingShow less

Husband's portrait of wife is so bad that she nearly stops breathing

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but what if what your eyes behold is objectively...not good? In what appears to be a creative way to spend quality time together for a married couple, things go hilariously wrong. Ted Slaughter, uploaded a video to his TikTok page of an activity he and his wife did together.

Slaughter's wife seems to be holding the phone so you can clearly see what appears to be a painting of Slaughter, who is sitting at the other end of the table in front of an easel. The text overlay on the video says, "husband and wife paint portraits of each other (gone wrong). But what could possibly be wrong, sure his wife's attempt isn't art gallery ready just yet but it's not bad.

Based on the critiques the man had of his wife's painting, surely his looks much closer to professional level work. Right?...Right?

Keep ReadingShow less