Statistics indicate that an astonishing one-third of the world’s food gets lost or wasted every year. At the same time, over one in ten households in the USA are considered 'food insecure' (defined by the USDA as those who are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their household members).
Fortunately, many organisations and a number of apps have popped up in recent years to tackle the problem of food waste. Some of these apps are focused on the end consumer, offering excess food stock at reduced prices, while many also address the problem of redistribution to the less fortunate.
So, whether you are a regular foodie who also loves a food discount, a chef or food business owner, or just someone who wants to give a lending hand to those in need, join the fight against food waste with these top 6 food waste apps.
The Food for All app was originally launched through a Kickstarter campaign. It lets you buy meals from restaurants and cafes in Boston and New York City for at least 50% off. The mission of its founders is summed up as: help, save, eat. The app allows you to:
Browse through over 200 different locales.
Pay directly through the food waste app.
Choose a pick up time.
Feel smug knowing you did your part at reducing food waste.
Currently only available in Canada, Flashfood allows shoppers to receive major discounts on food items nearing their best before date. They’ve teamed up with large supermarket chains such as Meijer to sell their surplus at reduced prices. The app lets you:
Pick a grocery store near where you are.
Select items at up to a 50% discount.
Purchase directly from your phone.
Get your items from a special Flashfood zone at the store (and confirm them with customer services).
Similarly to Flashfoodand Food for All, Too Good To Go has a wide listing of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and supermarkets that offer unsold food packaged as ‘magic bags’ at a set price. Half the fun is opening the bag to find out what goodies your local store has picked for you. Through this app, you can:
Browse the stores and other locales on the app.
Make your choices and pay on the app.
Show your on-app collection when you pick up.
Too Good To Go is one of the fastest growing food waste apps in Europe (they are currently in 14 countries) and have just launched in the US also. The app has 39.1 million users and counting. Watch this space.
Food Rescue US is a US-wide app connecting ‘food donors’ like grocery stores and restaurants, with food rescue groups and local community kitchens to fight food waste and serve the food insecure population. Since its inception in 2011, Food Rescue US has saved over 22,000 tonnes of food from landfills, including 30,000 pounds of leftover Super Bowl food earlier this month (delivered to local shelters).
Olio is like Tinder for the over-ambitious home cook. Get to know a few neighbours whilst sharing whatever extra meals, sauces, farmers market vegetables you want to save from being binned. With this app, you can:
Upload your product, adding a picture, description and pickup location.
Receive requests and then connect, meet and share.
Request items rather than posting them.
And like any social app, users can leave reviews and ratings for each other based on their experience. The UK-based app is nearing four million users and almost 18 million portions of food have been shared over the platform.
NYC-based Transfernation will take any untouched surplus food off your hands at the click of a button, making sure that it gets to the right people in need. The organisation focuses on redistributing the extra food from events to those in need through a variety of methods including connecting social institutions with events, volunteer food recovery, and partnerships with distribution networks and companies. The app is simple to use and draws on your smart phone’s GPS feature to create a geo-referenced pickup. Much of Transfernation’s transportation is done using environmentally friendly cargo bikes, so it cuts down on car exhaust too.
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