Apps That Help Fight Food Waste
The thing is, 70% of this food waste is edible (with 30% being inedible, like bones, egg shells, vegetable peels and seeds). That means more than two-thirds of the food waste that ends up being thrown out could have been consumed.
That is a problem for multiple reasons.
- First, this waste is creating a false demand. In order to meet this demand for a rapidly growing population, more and more land has to be cleared for agriculture and animal rearing. And, if the land was previously a green cover, we end up releasing more CO2 into the atmosphere, exacerbating the climate change problem.
- Second, this food waste contributes to global warming through the generation of GHGs as it decays.
- Third, the food that’s wasted is adding to the carbon footprints of individuals, households, and businesses.
- Fourth, with over a million starving people in the world, we should be more conscious of the amount of food we throw out.
In short, food waste, which seems insignificant when seen in isolation, can actually impact our planet considerably.
Preventing food waste
There has been a drive in recent years to prevent food waste. One of the solutions presented to commercial food manufacturers and the hospitality industry is to recycle food that is going to be thrown out through anaerobic digestion instead of sending it to landfills.
However, as we’ve seen from the food waste statistics cited earlier, the bigger problem isn’t commercial; it’s household food waste. To combat the situation, we have seen a surge in apps designed to prevent or at least reduce food waste.
Some of these apps focus on the redistribution of food that will go off soon but hasn’t been (or won’t be) consumed.in time.
Others help households manage the food they’ve purchased, so it is not wasted. That can be by reminding people of the expiry dates or by coming up with creative ways of using food they have sitting in their refrigerators.
Here are some of the apps that will help you fight food waste in your hospitality business as well as at home.
Apps for consumers
Too Good to Go
This app, which now covers 14 countries, initially started out in Copenhagen in 2016. Used by 28 million people across these countries, Too Good to Go helps connect consumers with restaurants, cafés, and bakeries that have excess food that’s going to be thrown out.
They can then buy this food at a heavily discounted price.
The only downside? You receive a surprise “magic bag”, so you aren’t really in control of what you get. So, you can specify the category you want, including vegetarian, baked goods, or groceries, but that is all.
Since this app is so popular, you can easily find eateries that subscribe to it in most cities in the UK. The app is free to download both on iPhones and Androids.
Another app that connects consumers to establishments that want to put their surplus food to good use, Karma operates in a similar manner to Too Good to Go. However, since all discounted food is listed individually, you get a bit more control over what you get.
Even though the app started out in 2016 in Sweden, and is gaining popularity in the UK, it is currently only available in London and Brighton. Also, like the Too Good to Go app, it is available for free.
The Olio app is free to download, but there is an optional subscription that you have to pay for. While it is similar in concept to the previous two apps, this one connects not just consumers to businesses but also consumers to neighbours.
So, if you have food that you won’t be using, you can put it up on the app and give someone in your area the chance to collect it. And, it’s not just for food—you can use it to give away non-food household items as well.
Charity begins at home, which is the philosophy NoWaste operates on. And, considering that most food waste comes from people’s homes, this is a philosophy we can get behind.
This is an app that’s designed to help you manage food that you’ve purchased for your home. You can use it to keep track of your purchased food items and their expiry dates, helping you manage the contents of your refrigerator better.
Simply scan your receipt or product barcodes, and you can set reminders of when food is “going off”. It also offers a meal planning feature, ensuring you have no food left to throw out at the end of the week.
This app was developed by a team from the University of Essex who believed that the lockdown made us into shoppers that like to hoard just a little bit. Like NoWaste, nosh is designed to help you manage your purchases efficiently.
The app enables you to plan your purchases so that nothing is wasted. And, if you do have ingredients left over, it offers recipe suggestions.
A food inventory app similar to nosh and NoWaste, Kitche has a feature that allows you to track items you regularly throw out. Using this knowledge, you can plan your shopping to manage these items better.
It also offers a selection of over 1,000 recipes, where you can enter the ingredients you want to use, and it will tell you what you can make with them.
Apps for businesses
A few of the apps listed above can be used by businesses to reduce their food waste by helping consumers find items that are going to be thrown out.
However, here is our favourite service that helps retailers and food & hospitality establishments redistribute food that would otherwise be wasted.
Even though it’s not an app, FareShare is a UK-based network of charity redistributors that helps fight food waste. The organisation collaborates with local supermarkets, food manucturers, and producers to collect excess produce and ingredients and redistributes them to charities that help provide food to those in need.
Love Food, Hate Waste
Again, not an app, but this is a very handy resource. Love Food, Hate Waste is an initiative started by WRAP that offers advice to both commercial enterprises and households on how to reuse food leftovers in recipes and how to best store them.
It also offers other resources to help manage food, like a portion calculator and other good food habits.
So, there you have it—a list of apps that you can use to reduce your food waste. Of course, when waste is inevitable, it is best if it comes to us to be anaerobically digested.
That way, food waste is “fed” to bacteria that process it and release Methane (CH4) gas, which is collected and makes an excellent biofuel. The remaining slurry is high in Nitrogen and works very well as a biofertiliser.
All in all, we can help reduce the impact food waste has on the environment, whether it is collected by local authorities from households or commercial food waste.
If your business wants to reduce its carbon footprint, get in touch with us.
Food Waste Management
If you’d like to talk to us about your food waste or waste cooking oil collection from commercial premises over the coming weeks, then please get in touch with a member of the team..