If you care about food waste, chances are you have scanned the contents of your fridge looking for things about to go bad. The spinach is getting wilty, the leftover tomato paste is staring at you, and so are a few other seemingly random ingredients. What do you do with them all?
Jacob Strauss was in just this situation when he realized he could do something about it. Experienced in coding, he decided the best way to fix it was through a search engine that could take all your available ingredients and find recipes that used them up.
“I thought about how my mother – who is an excellent cook – could easily create a banquet from scraps. This made me realize that there might be a tool out there that could help me come up with a recipe based on the ingredients I had available,” Jacob said in an interview over Reddit.
How it Works
Most recipe websites will let you include eggs or strawberries in a search of their website—but you’ll have to choose one. Gumbo is the first search engine out there that will let you search multiple ingredients at once.
In a test run of Gumbo, we typed in the exact example above, strawberries and eggs, and quickly got over two dozen suggestions on what to make. The recipes included options from a wide range of different websites, including Epicurious and Food 52.
As a refreshing change, one of the options in the search include “mini eggs.” As the owner of banty chickens, it’s really refreshing to see this sort of thing included.
Free to Use
Gumbo is free to use and runs very smoothly. Ingredients are entered by typing them in one at time and pressing enter. There’s no option for using commas at this time. Once the ingredients are typed in, the search engine works instantly to help you find what you want.
This is a great thing not just for convenience, but for the environment. I often spend far too long sifting through recipes because I have several things about to go bad, and no idea what to make with them. Thanks to this search engine, finding recipes will help me with avoiding food waste.