How much food did you chuck out at the weekend? Did you bin half the takeaway you ordered in? And did you chuck out those vegetables that you never used for that curry? Well, you’re not alone. According to food app Too Good To Go, each year, 1/3 of food produced in the world goes to waste, and it is responsible for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Karma, another food app waging war on waste, says that the average European household throws away £1,800 of food every year.

That’s a lot of money and food we could be saving if only we were a little bit smarter with our purchases. But how can we kick bad habits? We’ve found a number of food apps out there that are on a mission to eliminate food wastage, from monitoring what you buy to redistributing excess food to homeless shelters.

1. Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go was set up in 2015 in Copenhagen by five business partners. Since then the company has now saved 29 million meals and avoided the equivalent of more than 72,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – that’s the equivalent of 15,000 vehicles driven in one year. As well as working with restaurants and supermarkets to stop food waste, they invite ‘Waste Warriors’ to join their Herculean efforts.

Simply download the app to get started. You can choose from cheaper chains like Greggs and Costa coffee to more upmarket stores such as Daylesford Organic. You simply find stores near you and click ‘Reserve’ to receive a discounted Magic Bag of food. This is simply a load of goodies for lunch or dinner that come from the restaurant or supermarket after their peak hours of selling. You can register any allergies if you need to avoid certain foods, but other than that, it’s pot luck.

Website: www.toogoodtogo.org

2. Karma

‘Eat like you give a fork’ is this app’s tag line – we already love it. The Swedish company was founded in 2016 and landed on these shores in 2018. It operates very much in the same way as Too Good To Go, but with a few more fancy options under its belt.

Food partners include the Michelin-starred Aquavit, meal boxes from Detox Kitchen, cheeses from Paxton & Whitfield and more healthy options from Deliciously Ella. You can also just gamble with a Snack Box, where a mystery pile of snacks is available for collection with treats from M&S, Tesco and Waitrose.

The impact of food waste is four times greater than the impact of all flights in the world combined. That’s kind of a big deal. So next time you’re thinking about ordering in, think with Karma. And if it helps you to know, Karma has even been endorsed by Barack Obama… you know it’s got to be good when that happens.

Website: www.karma.life

3. Olio

This app follows a slightly different premise. Olio is all about sharing stuff with your neighbours. Order too many apples? Buy a load of ingredients for that banana bread you’re never going to bake? Never fear! Simply upload some photos of your goods onto the app and wait for someone to get in touch. You arrange a drop-off point and they collect it for free. You’re saving the planet and also meeting your neighbours – what could be a better feeling than that!?

While the app started with food, they also allow you to post other bits from your house too, in case you really feel like de-cluttering. You can find some pretty neat things on here from kitchen appliances to garden tools.

Website: www.olioex.com

4. Approved Food

Anyone in the house looking for a good bargain? Us too. Approved Food is an online shopping platform that targets retailers that have food running up to or near the ‘best before’ dates. However, food is often good to eat well after that and so this company has set about making sure none of it goes to waste.

You can find all your favourite brands on there but at discounted prices. Their average customer saves £60 on their weekly shop. From chocolate bars and whisky, to perfumes and cat food, there is everything you could need for your weekly shop – and so much cheaper! And it all gets delivered straight to your door.

Website: www.approvedfood.co.uk

5. Food Cloud

This app is less for customers and more for supermarkets and farms to let charities know that they have food that would otherwise go to waste. Charities can save money on their budgets and use surplus food for breakfast clubs, homeless shelters and other community centres. So far, FoodCloud has redistributed 20 million meals so far to charities in the UK and Ireland.

While this may not be something you can tap into right away – you could still volunteer. They are always looking for people to man the phones, collect deliveries or help sort out the food.

Website: www.food.cloud

6. Whisk

The food app Whisk is all about helping you make smart shopping decisions. With a high-tech AI system behind it, the app helps you calculate exactly what you need in your kitchen so you don’t buy too much of it. You can scale up or scale down recipes you find on the internet and it quickly calculates how much you’ll need to buy. It’s also just a handy way of saving your favourite recipes all in one place.

Particularly as we’ve all spent so much time at home, this is a great way to plan your meals without stressing about them and also be kind to the planet.

Website: www.whisk.com

7. Oddbox

We all love an underdog – which is why we’re all about Oddbox and its mission to save funky-looking vegetables from being thrown out. They rescue odd and surplus fruit and veg directly from farmers to help save the planet.

It all started when the founders, Deepak and Emilie, discovered that 20-40% of produce in the UK is wasted before it even leaves farms. And so they set about wanting to correct this wastage. They also work with The Felix Project and City Harvest to help fight food poverty in London by donating approximately 5% of their fruit and veg to those who need it most.

Website: www.oddbox.co.uk

8. Kitche

If you’re always finding yourself stuck for inspiration, and end up throwing out food then Kitche is the app you need. This app keeps track of your food at home whilst giving you cool features and functionality to ensure you buy what you eat and eat what you buy.

Scan your food products into the app, so you can keep track of what’s at home without checking the fridge. Find recipes based on what you have in the cupboard, and monitor which foods will go out of date the earliest. Easy!

Website: www.kitche.co

 

9. Nosh

The origin story of Nosh is both inspiring and heart-breaking in equal measure. Brainchild of Somdip Dey and Suman Saha, Nosh came to be after Dey’s harrowing first-hand experience of food wastage whilst dumpster diving to avoid starvation. Dey became determined to reduce food waste – Nosh does exactly that.

The app keeps track of the food in your fridge and when they expire. This allows users to make sure they consume the food they have without piling up on expired food. What’s more, their ‘Nosh Shop’ feature lets you buy groceries at a discounted price!

Website: www.nosh.tech

10. ResQ Club

ResQ Club is an app that does it all! Not only does it save food from being wasted, but it keeps both their users and restaurants happy. How do they do it? This Finnish-born app simply takes the weight off of restaurants by helping them sell their surplus food to their users.

What’s better, they are sold at a heavily discounted price. ResQ Club provides the best of both worlds by reducing food wastage and filling hungry bellies simultaneously. Genius.

Website: www.resq-club.com


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