13-11-2017 | Food is always on our mind. In fact, one study found we think about food at least every hour. But the figures on how much we waste are enough to make us put our knives and forks down and take notice. 10 million tonnes is thrown away each year by UK households and retailers, according to sustainability charity Wrap – worth more than £17bn. There’s always a better option than chucking away perfectly good food, but you might not always know what to do.
Here’s five food sharing apps which make it easier to love food and hate waste.
1. Too Good To Go is for bargain hunters
Profit is not something any business lets go of easily.
That’s why Danish entrepreneur Mette Lykke created a food sharing app for restaurants, cafes, and shops that still lets them claw back a little profit.
Too Good To Go links up businesses’ leftovers with hungry and savvy shoppers.
They put their leftover food on the app each day for at least a 50-75% reduction in price, choose a collection time, and hungry shoppers come to feast on bargain-priced food.
The shops still turn a profit and savvy consumers can bag themselves fresh food for a fraction of the normal price.
Yo! Sushi, the Co-op, and local cafes are all partners with Too Good To Go in the UK – with businesses from Aberdeen to Plymouth all taking part.
2. Olio shares food within the community
Going on holiday? Or moving out your house? All that leftover food, even just half a packet of biscuits, doesn’t have to go to waste.
Olio is the Gumtree of the food world.
You list your item with a photo, choose your preferred pick-up point (home or a Olio Drop Box), and make a note of when you’re available.
Someone will take you up on the offer and pick up your leftover food and take it to a good home.
Olio encourages neighbours to share their leftover food between them.
And you’ll be making friends too, says Olio co-founder Tessa Cook.
“Neighbours are connecting with each other, often for the first time, to share food with one another, which is a truly magical feeling,” she said.
3. Unsung is for the charitable food sharer
Unsung organises a network of people to donate leftover food to the homeless or in need.
If you’re an individual or a grocery shop with spare food, you take a quick picture of it, tag its location on a map, and share it on Unsung’s social network.
Then volunteers work as delivery people, going between the food’s location and a local food bank or homeless shelter.
Perfect for anyone feeling charitable you can either donate your food or your time to helping Unsung ensure no-one’s without their next meal.
4. Eat Me is the timer for the food in your fridge
If you’re anything like me, your heart sinks a little when you realise that expensive impulse food buy from Tesco has now gone off and you have to throw it away.
You’d meant to cook it, but the timings just didn’t work out, and now it’s too late.
EatMe is the saviour of all forgetful but well-meaning food shoppers.
Scan the food as you put it into the fridge and it will alert you when it’s about to go off.
And the best bit is who came up with the idea.
EatMe founders India and Siena.
The female founders India and Siena started EatMe last year when they were just 13 and 14 years old.
If you have a good idea, age is no limit.
5. NoFoodWasted saves you a trip to the reduced aisle
The Best Before app from Dutch company NoFoodWasted is every university student’s dream.
Instead of going to the local supermarket to scavenge through the reduced section, it does it all for you online.
You can see exactly what products are going out of date and will be marked down.
And shoppers can even anything they’re looking for to their Best Before shopping list and get notifications when the items are reduced.
The Best Before app shows reduced food at supermarkets near you.
So far only in the Netherlands, this is one app we’re keen to see expand to more of Europe.
According to the app developer August de Vocht, retailers have seen a 25% reduction in monthly food waste.
With so many apps offering cheap meals, free food, and easy ways to cut down on waste, there’s no excuse.