Every year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States. That’s more than $161 billion worth of food thrown away. Most of that food ends up sitting in landfills, where it releases methane—a gas that’s 30 times more powerful than carbon.
Unfortunately, without major changes, the food waste problem will only get worse. According to the United Nations, the world’s population is expected to grow from 7.6 billion to 9.8 billion by 2050. Naturally, this means the amount of food waste (and the need for more food) will also increase.
Like all things, when it comes to cutting down on food waste, there’s an app for that. Here are some apps that help you save money, reduce food waste, and help those in need, all through a few taps on your phone.
5 Food Waste Apps That Better the Planet
Too Good To Go is working on making the dream of a planet with no food waste a reality. The app connects consumers with food from local restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores to sell “surprise bags” at a third of the list price. These bags range from $4 to $6, significantly lower than your typical dine-in experience. The Certified B Corporation has saved over 70 million meals worldwide and has partnered with over 87,000 local food businesses.
The FoodForAll app, developed in collaboration with Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, started in New York and Boston and has now expanded to 200+ locations. Consumers can purchase meals one hour before a restaurant closes, receiving discounts of up to 80%. Users also have the ability to donate food directly to people through the app.
Olio helps you fight food waste from the comfort of your own home. The app, which launched in 2015, lets people upload details of the food they would otherwise chuck, allowing it to go to others in the area that may be in need. For members interested in getting a little more involved, the “food waste heroes” program allows volunteers to pick things up from cafes and shops that list food on the site.
FlashFood’s founder spoke with hundreds of grocery store employees and executives to learn about their wasteful practices. Most unsold food items that were approaching their best-before dates by up to two weeks were typically thrown away. FlashFood allows users to browse those food items and buy them at a discount, keeping them out of landfills.
Do you ever wish you could give excess food to those in need? Food Rescue US lets you do just that. The web-based app is part of the company’s larger mission to reduce food waste by giving donors the opportunity to give their excess food to social service agencies. Volunteers are able to transfer excess food from a number of sources, including grocers and restaurants, to agencies that feed people who are food insecure.
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