Food waste? There’s an app for that…

Food waste? There’s an app for that…

The issue of food waste is a serious environmental and food sustainability problem. As families struggle to put food on the table, restaurants and supermarkets chunk 35 million tons of food every year. And that’s in the United States alone. Aside from this, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that food waste contribute at least 3.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Fortunately, apps are helping curb this problem. Various apps have been created to specifically reduce food waste and connect restaurants and supermarkets with consumers. Here are just some of the latest apps:


Cultivate smart grocery shopping habits with CogZum. It is a shopping assistant app that provides on-demand shareable food inventory and shopping lists and ensures no spoilage by providing alerts on ‘use by’ and expiration dates. It also provides reports on consumed vs. wasted food, hence empowering the user with accurate data on which to base shopping decisions. Available only on iTunes.

Cogzum food shopping assistant and food waste app

Too Good To Go

Dining in London need not cost an arm and a leg. There is a way to enjoy great tasting restaurant meals at reduced prices. Simply download the app called Too Good To Go. This app provides a list of left-over food from top London restaurants, cafes and bars – priced in between £2 to £3.80 per meal. Choose the food you want, pay for it through the app and collect from the store.

Too Good to Go - Food Waste apps


FoodCloud is a platform that connects UK-based supermarkets, farms, food manufacturers, among others, with charities that collect surplus food for distribution to those who need it most. Food retailers and charities are required to create accounts in order to be able to monitor the availability of surplus food and arrange a collection schedule. Alternatively, food may also be collected by or delivered to FoodCloud’s hubs in Cork, Galway, and Dublin, where it will be stored according to food safety standards. Charities can then collect or arrange for the food to be delivered to them for distribution to communities or shelters. To learn more, visit


Winner of The Guardian Sustainable Business Award, Winnow is designed to help restaurants cut down on food waste. Its technology is simple, using only a tablet and a digital scale attached to a bin. The system allows a restaurant or any food establishment to track food waste by requiring staff members to use the tablet to record what they are throwing out. The weight of the food is detected by the scale, and its cost automatically recorded. The app then produces data analysis that helps restaurants determine their areas of food waste and improve their systems. The Winnow technology and app is currently available in Europe, UAE, Asia and Australia. If you own a cafe or restaurant and are interested in technology that helps reduce your food waste,

Winnow food waste system for chefs and restaurants

Local Roots

Food is perishable. In order to ensure that it is consumed before it goes bad and hence, go to waste, Local Roots provides a platform for connecting local food producers to consumers. It makes use of location data to provide a list of available products, allows customers to order and purchase fresh produce through the app, and arrange for pick-ups and/or deliveries. Local Roots is currently based in Atlanta, Georgia. Download the iTunes app here.

Local Roots - Connect with local farmers, food waste app

11th Hour

Kind of similar to its UK version, 11th Hour is a Singapore-based app that allows food and beverage suppliers to market deals to customers, with as much as 30 percent discount. This prevents food from going to waste and enables business establishments to draw in customers especially during lull periods. The app is available on both iTunes and Android.

11th Hour - food waste apps

Is there any other food waste apps that you can recommend? Share them with us and we’ll suss them out!

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About the author

Polly Michelle Cunanan

Polly Michelle Cunanan

Polly Michelle Cunanan is a results-driven media and communication expert with over 15 years of experience and proven track record in working with the Philippine Government and donor agencies such as the USAID, World Bank, UN-FAO, ADB, European Union (EU) and media. Political and strategic communication, messaging and campaigns are among her expertise. She spearheaded the communication program on the Bangsamoro peace process which led to a conducive environment for the signing of the historic Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. She is a graduate of BA Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines and has completed the academic requirements for MA Communication Research from the same university. She is a UK Chevening scholar currently studying MA International Public Relations and Global Communications Management at Cardiff University.


  • How Cool! I tried to download CogZum, but coulding find it in the App Store on my iPhone. Maybe because I’m American? I’ll have to poke around and see if I can find another app to do a similar thing.

  • It is inspiring to see how different groups are doing various steps to avoid or lessen food wastage. Although there are certain standards that a company has to maintain concerning the quality of their products, it is sobering to remember that in some places, people are willing to buy products that are still edible although not within the quality a brand or business prides itself in. Also, more operating costs and expenses go to wastage due to a faulty system. Avoiding spoilage and depreciation is the best form of lessening overhead costs. Salvaging excess or leftovers are best in conserving food production and proper utilisation by distributing them to charitable organisations. It takes one to have the commitment and sense of responsibility to our ecosystem to save the environment and mankind.

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