How apps help reduce food waste, interview with Too Good To Go

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blog post
September 6, 2022

What apps can help reduce food waste?

If you’re looking to reduce your food waste at home, there are apps that can help you do just that. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Olio provides a platform for you to share food and other unwanted items with your community or collect leftover products from stores or catering suppliers for free.
  • FoodCloud connects supermarkets to charities and community groups. Through the app, supermarkets can upload a description of unsold food and a local charity will receive a notification to collect it.
  • Nowaste lets you scan receipts and barcodes, save your weekly store, make lists of what you already have, plan meals, and get automatic reminders about food expiration dates .
  • Too Good To Go is on a mission to ensure that good food is eaten and not wasted. The app allows you to buy and collect “magic bags” filled with surplus food at discounted prices from cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops and manufacturers.

We spoke to Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go, to learn more about the app and the broader issue of food waste.

Where did the idea for your food saving app come from?

Too Good To Go was developed as a solution to the shocking fact that 40% of all food produced for human consumption never makes it to our plate. While the idea started as a solution to tackle food waste in the hospitality industry, it has now grown into much more than that.

Too Good To Go exists as a platform to dramatically reduce food waste across the food supply chain, from growers and wholesalers to supermarkets and convenience stores to hotels and independent market stalls and everything in between.

Why do you want to make a difference when it comes to food waste?

No one likes to throw away perfectly edible food, but it still happens every day. In the UK over 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away every year – it’s crazy when you think about how many people go hungry every day, not to mention the damage it does to our environment.

And while our global food waste contributes to more greenhouse gas emissions than the aviation industry, only a third of Britons recognize the link between food waste and climate change.

Our mission at Too Good To Go is to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste together, not just through the use of our app, but in all aspects of our lives. We want to see a fully planet-friendly food system, which means tackling food waste in all its forms and from all angles.

What is the link between food waste and climate change?

Not only does wasting food just not make sense, it’s a huge problem for the planet. The food we waste accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. For context, aviation is responsible for 6%. Plus, when food is thrown away, it’s not just the edible product that’s wasted – it’s also all the land, resources, and emissions that are used to produce, package, and transport it.

How does the app help people and the planet?

The app is a very simple way for people to make a difference on a daily basis and offers a win-win-win concept. We’re not asking people to completely overhaul their lifestyle, but what we offer is delicious, quality food at a much more affordable price. Each magic bag contains food worth three times what you pay for!

Plus, by keeping food from going to waste, we’re also helping our planet. In partnership with MyClimate, we calculated that each magic bag of food saved on Too Good To Go is equivalent to the carbon footprint resulting from fully charging a smartphone 422 times. In the UK, we have saved over 14 million Magic Bags to date, which equates to 35 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This is equivalent to the annual emissions of 4,118 UK citizens.

How much food have you stopped going to the dump?

Globally, in our 17 markets, we have diverted more than 150 million bags of food from landfill (each bag contains approximately 1 kg of food).

How can we encourage others to reduce their food waste?

It is important for everyone to understand that every action taken, no matter how small, helps to make a big difference, especially when it comes to tackling climate change. This is why the fight against food waste can be so powerful, because we can all do something that reduces it to have a positive impact on the planet. Whether it’s something as simple as stopping to peel potatoes or changing your habits and not throwing away food because it’s past its expiration date, all of these actions seemingly minor ones have a huge impact when added.

What are your top tips for reducing food waste?

  • 01

    Trust your senses when it comes to “best before” labels

    An easy way to do this is to carefully plan the meals you buy. For example, planning meals that use the same ingredient or parts of the same ingredient means you’re not buying a new set of ingredients for each meal.

  • 02

    Get creative with your leftovers

    Get creative and take the opportunity to explore new ways of working with ingredients. Why not try using the broccoli stalks you usually throw away or keeping the skin off your potatoes when you mash them? Small changes like these can make all the difference.

  • 03

    Trust your senses when it comes to “best before” labels

    Just because a product is past its expiration date doesn’t mean it’s not edible. Before you throw it, use your senses to determine if it really exploded! You’d be surprised how many foods last beyond their expiration date. Read this guide to build your confidence, while staying safe.

Last update: September 2, 2022

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