Blog Posts by Challenge Accepted

SUBMISSION DONE! / Published January 11, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

SUBMISSION DONE!

We Team Challenge Accepted have submitted our final pitch on our idea "EvapCooler". The whole journey has been a lot of fun so far!

Idea Parkers / Published January 10, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Idea Parkers

All of our ideas throughout this awesome journey. Hopefully we have found THE SOLUTION to feed 9 billion people come 2050!

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING / Published January 7, 2016 by Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

Ahmed Tashfiq Rafsan

THE SCIENCE BEHIND EVAPORATIVE COOLING

Evaporative cooling is something we have all experienced at some point. Wearing a damp shirt on a warm but windy day gives us a chill. Evaporative cooling is based on a physical phenomenon in which evaporation of a liquid (usually water) into surrounding air cools an object or a liquid in contact with it. As the liquid turns to a gas, the phase change absorbs heat. Technically, this is called the “latent heat of evaporation”. Water is an excellent coolant because it is plentiful, non-toxic, and evaporates easily in most climates.
Evaporative cooling can also be used extensively in preserving fruits and vegetables. Horticultural produce are stored at lower temperature because of their highly perishable nature. There are many methods to cool the environment. Hence, preserving these types of foods in their fresh form demands that the chemical, bio-chemical and physiological changes are restricted to a minimum by close control of space temperature and humidity. The high cost involved in developing cold storage or controlled atmosphere storage is a pressing problem in several developing countries. Evaporative cooling is a well-known system to be an efficient and economical means for reducing the temperature and increasing the relative humidity in an enclosure and this effect has been extensively tried for increasing the shelf life of horticultural produce in some tropical and subtropical countries. Thus, the evaporative cooler has prospect for use for short term preservation of vegetables and fruits soon after harvest. Zero energy cooling system could be used effectively for short-duration storage of fruits and vegetables even in hilly region. It not only reduces the storage temperature but also increases the relative humidity of the storage which is essential for maintaining the freshness of the commodities.

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence? / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

Sami Tahsin

Global food wastage- the bane of farmers' existence?

Bangladesh, like many other developing countries, has a very low food waste on a consumer level. This is because most middle class or lower middle class families never even consider the possibility of throwing food away. Surplus food is either divided among extended family or given to poor people nearby.
HOWEVER- despite the fact that food wastage in Bangladesh is low on a consumer level, crop losses during harvest are huge! This, in turn, fuels the suffering of the farmers.
Pre- and post-harvest losses are not negligible in Bangladesh. As a result of the use of traditional harvesting methods coupled with low use of post harvesting techniques, farmers in the country lose on average 7% of Boro and Aman paddy, resulting in approximately Tk2.3bn in losses every year, finds a study of the Rural Development Academy, a state-run organisation.“Seven percent loss in grains may not seem like a terrific figure, but in terms of cash, it is. The country has to suffer a loss of Tk2.3bn every year during the Boro and Aman seasons alone,” said AKM Zakaria, director of agriculture at the Bogra-based RDA.
The research report also mentioned that delayed harvesting could contribute to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. “Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy,” said Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, a Bangladeshi environmentalist.
Thus, Bangladeshi farmers lose their livelihood and lands, and they and their families are left on their own to struggle with starvation and misery.
Furthermore, this problem is not only limited to the boundaries of Bangladesh. Such case is true for farmers all over the world- food wastage creates disadvantages to whoever is directly or indirectly related to agriculture.
Such is the pain of the farmers, created by global food wastage.
Being the sole heavy-lifters in fulfilling the responsibility of feeding an entire nation, these farmers do not deserve such early demise. Therefore, actions must be taken to relieve these valuable stakeholders of the global food chain.

The Science behind Food Wastage / Published January 7, 2016 by Sami Tahsin

Sami Tahsin

The Science behind Food Wastage

A report published January 10, 2013, in the UK-based newspaper the Guardian, stated almost half of the world’s food had been thrown away. What an abomination!
Why is it that the consumers in wealthy countries discard 222m tonnes of food every year, which is almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa, 230m tonnes?
In developed countries, people only need to allocate around 25% of their income for food, which gives them more options, which ultimately turns to wastage. On the other hand, rate of food wastage on consumer level is very low in developing nations like Bangladesh, as most people in these countries are bound to allocate around 70% of their income for food.
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), annual per capita food wasted by consumers in Europe and North-America was 95-115 kg, while Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia wasted only 6-11 kg. The FAO also reported that the total annual per capita production of edible parts of food for human consumption is, in Europe and North-America, about 900 kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia, 460 kg. The annual per capita food loss in Europe and North America was 280-300kg, and in sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia it is 120-170kg.
However, the report further suggested that 30-50% of the global food (approximately 1.2-2bn tonnes) produced annually in the world actually never reach consumers for consumption!
Thus, the issue of food loss can be attributed not only to consumer behavior, but also to inappropriate infrastructure and storage facility, poor engineering and agriculture practices.
For instance, huge pre- and post-harvest losses occur as result of the use of traditional harvesting methods. Delayed harvesting also contributes to a huge amount of grain losses, during the reaping, transporting and handling of the harvested crops. The percentage of loss can be between 20% and 60%. Lack of technology in harvesting and processing level is another major issue- causing higher production loss in the developing nations like Bangladesh, where investment for that technology is not easy.
The FAO’s global initiative on food losses and waste reduction suggested strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation and post-harvest techniques. They also suggested an expansion of the food and packaging industry to help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.
Yet, unfortunately, scientists predict that approximately one billion people around the world are ‘going hungry’ and further two billion people will be affected due to inadequate food supply by 2050 as a result of worsening climate, food loss along the supply chain and poor food production.
Despite various initiatives with slow but steady growth, we do not know for sure as to what the future holds. We all have a responsibility to our community, yet it is our actions that are shaping up the future ever so meekly. This is what we have to fight against.

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