If you’re looking to reduce your food waste at home, there are apps that can help do just that. Here are some of our favourites:
Olio provides a platform for you to share unwanted food and other items with your community or to pick up leftover goods from stores or catering suppliers for free.
FoodCloud connects supermarkets with charities and community groups. Through the app, supermarkets can upload a description of unsold food and a local charity will get a notification to collect it.
Nowaste allows you to scan receipts and barcodes, log your weekly shop, make lists of what you already have, plan meals and receive automatic reminders about when food items are going to expire.
Too Good To Go is on a mission to make sure that good food gets eaten and not wasted. The app lets you buy and collect ‘Magic Bags’ filled with surplus food at a reduced price from cafes, restaurants, hotels, shops and manufacturers.
We spoke to Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good To Go, to find out more about the app and the wider problem 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 began as a solution to tackling food waste in the hospitality industry, it’s now developed into so much more than this.
Too Good To Go exists as a platform to significantly reduce food waste from along the food supply chain, from producers 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 perfectly edible food away, but it still happens daily. In the UK over 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away each year – that’s crazy when you think of how many people are going hungry each day, not to mention the damage it’s doing to our environment.
And while our global food waste is contributing more greenhouse gas emissions than the aviation industry, only one third of Brits recognise the connection 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 only through the use of our app but across all aspects of our lives. We want to see a completely planet-friendly food system, and this means tackling food waste in all its forms and from every angle.
What’s the link between food waste and climate change?
Not only does wasting food simply not make sense, but it’s a massive problem for the planet. The food we waste amounts to 10% of all greenhouse gases being 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 is wasted – it’s all the land, resources and emissions that are used to produce, package and transport it too.
How is the app helping people and the planet?
The app is a really simple way for people to make a difference every day and offers a win-win-win concept. We’re not asking people to overhaul their entire lifestyle, but what we are offering is delicious, quality food for a much more affordable price. Each Magic Bag contains food worth three times what you pay for!
What’s more, in saving food from going to waste, we’re helping our planet too. In partnership with MyClimate, we calculated that every Magic Bag of food rescued on Too Good To Go equates to the carbon footprint from charging one smartphone fully 422 times. In the UK, we’ve saved over 14 million Magic Bags to date, which equates to 35 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). That’s equal to the annual emissions of 4,118 UK citizens.”
How much food have you stopped going to landfill?
Globally across our 17 markets, we’ve saved over 150 million bags of food from going to landfill (each bag contains roughly 1kg of food).
How can we encourage other people to reduce their food waste?
It’s important that everyone understand that every single action taken, no matter how big or small, adds up to make a big difference, especially when it comes to tackling climate change. That’s why fighting 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 peeling potatoes or changing habits and not throwing food away because it has passed its ‘best before’ date, all these seemingly small actions are hugely impactful when added together.
What are your top tips for reducing food waste?
Plan ahead and don’t buy more than you need
An easy way to achieve this is to plan carefully about the meals that you’re shopping for. For instance, planning meals that utilise the same, or parts of the same, ingredient means that you’re not buying a new set of ingredients for every meal.
Get creative with your leftovers
Get creative and embrace the chance to explore new ways of working with ingredients. Why not have a go at using the broccoli stalks that you’d usually throw away, or keeping the peel on your potatoes when you’re mashing them? Little changes like these can make all the difference.
Trust your senses when it comes to 'best before’ labels
Just because a product is past its ‘best before’ date doesn’t mean it’s inedible. Before throwing it, use your senses to work out if it’s actually gone off! You’d be surprised how many food items last beyond their ‘best before’ date. Read this guide to grow your confidence, while staying safe.