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.
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.
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 www.food.cloud
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, www.winnowsolutions.com
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.
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.
Is there any other food waste apps that you can recommend? Share them with us and we’ll suss them out!