Apps could help reduce food waste

Apps could help reduce food waste
Ana McCabe

In the U.S. alone, 40% of produce is wasted, which contributes to 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Food waste not only has negative effects on the environment, but also takes a toll on the economy.

Every year, $1.2 trillion worth of food is thrown away in the U.S. according to Too Good To Go, a company that is taking action across the world to reduce our environmental footprint while benefiting the economy.

Too Good to Go is a B Corp company — a business that meets high transparency, social and environmental standards — and was founded in 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now the world’s number one app to fight food waste, Too Good To Go’s goal is to help “everyday people fight food waste in their local communities by connecting them to restaurants and grocery stores with surplus meals and ingredients” through their app.

Once people register on the mobile app, they can choose various local partnered businesses, such as restaurants or bakeries, and pick up the daily surplus of food for a third of the normal price. Foods can include pastries, apples, sushi, avocados or bread, among others. According to the company’s website, the app is active in 17 countries and saves more than 250,000 meals every day.

Too Good to Go launched in the U.S. in 2020 and can be used in numerous states, including New York, Texas, Illinois, California, Washington, Oregon and New Jersey. According to a press release, Too Good To Go expanded to over 1.5 million consumers and over 5,000 food businesses in its first year in the U.S.

Once businesses become a partner with Too Good To Go, they can list their surplus goods as a surprise bag. Once listed, customers will search for these surprise bags and prepay through the app. Customers pick up their surprise bags based on the time and location that the businesses set. Too Good To Go takes a commission of $1.29, with the rest of its profit going to their business partners.

As food waste in the U.S. has grown from 8% to 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the past decade, combatting it is more important now than ever. Food waste is a climate crisis issue that consumers can individually combat by being conscious of the choices they make and being aware of how much they make or buy, where they buy it from and how much waste they throw away.

Too Good to Go is not the only app that helps customers reduce food waste. Olio, Karma and NoWaste are just a few other apps that allow consumers to help reduce how much food is wasted.

Unfortunately, none of these apps have made it to Sioux Falls. However, as food waste becomes a more prominent issue and people become more aware of the actions they can take, these apps will continue to develop and spread. Hopefull, one day, residents can all enjoy surprise bags from favorite local restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops in Sioux Falls.