Food System

Farmers today are using image recognition technologies to detect signs of bacteria or fungus—such as color change, wilting, or spots—to identify pests and plant diseases.

Predictive ordering algorithms are modernizing food retail and helping to cut food waste in half.

Natural language processing applications can read tweets and restaurant reviews in order to identify sources of food poisoning and improve food safety inspections.

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  • Amanda Ramcharan

  • Holly Parker

  • Don Bustos


  • Amanda Ramcharan

    Amanda Ramcharan

    “If you’re a farmer, soil is like your bank account”

    — Amanda Ramcharan, Agricultural engineer

    She uses multispectral cameras attached to drones to collect data that can be used to look at a farm’s photosynthetic capacity and predict future soil health.

  • Holly Parker

    Holly Parker

    “Affordable, accessible technology is critical for bringing healthy food incentives to scale”

    — Holly Parker, Fair Food Network

    Their “Double Up Food Bucks” program uses point-of-sale technologies to lower the cost of fresh food for low income families.

  • Don Bustos

    Don Bustos

    “The decisions about how we grow food shouldn’t be dictated by technology”

    — Don Bustos, farmer

    Suspicious of “disruptive,” trendy technologies, Bustos would like to see technology support the life-blood of his community in Española, New Mexico.



About Us

Refresh examines the intersection of technological innovation and the U.S. food system through research, storytelling, and collective action. The project is funded by Google and led by Swell Creative Group.

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