No one likes to waste food, but it happens both in our homes and, to a greater extent, in stores and restaurants.
It may be due to lack of planning, it may be due to carelessness, but what is certain is that no one benefits from food waste: neither the environment, which has borne the burden of the carbon footprint associated with that wasted food, nor our pockets, which have paid for it.
This is why, in recent years, a number of mobile applications have been appearing that seek to find a solution to this problem, at the consumer level. Whether acting as a bridge between businesses and households or connecting people with surplus food with people who can (or want or need) to receive or buy that surplus, mobile applications that seek to reduce food waste make saving food from waste not only economical and convenient, but, just as importantly, easy.
Here are 5 apps that aim to prevent food waste:
1. Too Good To Go:
With more than 4 million users in Spain alone, Too Good To Go is the largest and most powerful mobile application for saving food from waste in the market. The operation is simple: gastronomic establishments (mostly bakeries and cafes, but also restaurants) put on offer, through the App, combos of food left over from the day's service, to prevent them from going to the trash. You, as a user, enter the App, search according to your location, choose, pay, and go to pick up your order.
Available at App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/es/app/too-good-to-go/id1060683933?mt=8) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.tgtg&hl=es)
Olio is a mobile application that is in full growth and whose approach, so simple, is revolutionary: if you have food in your refrigerator or pantry that you know you are not going to eat even though it is still in good condition, you can take a photo of it, upload it to the App, and coordinate with a neighbor to give it away. In this way, the effort to avoid food waste is communal and the bond between neighbors is strengthened.
Available at the App Store (https://apps.apple.com/mx/app/olio-food-sharing-revolution/id1008237086) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.olioex.android&hl=es&gl=US)
Has it ever happened to you that you miss a vegetable (or any kind of food, of course) because you don't know how to use it? Ekilu is a mobile application that does not focus on food exchange, but on avoiding waste yourself and it does it in the simplest way: you enter the application, enter the food or ingredients you have at home and press the "Start Cooking" button. The App will show you a number of healthy and wholesome recipes using those ingredients.
4. La Colmena Que Dice Sí
La Colmena Que Dice Sí is a relatively new project, but with a differentiating proposal: that consumers can buy directly from producers. In the App, each producer has its own commercial space where to offer its products and each user has the possibility to join different hives, where to search, choose and buy those products directly from the producers.
Download at App Store (https://itunes.apple.com/es/app/la-colmena-que-dice-s%C3%AD/id1052198033?mt=8)
5. Encantado de Comerte
Like Too Good To Go, this application seeks to avoid food waste by acting as a bridge between businesses and restaurants with food surpluses, and users who take advantage of the opportunity to buy those surpluses at reduced prices (in this case, the minimum discount is 40%).
Download at App Store (http://apps.apple.com/us/app/encantado-de-comerte/id1500416630?l=es&ls=1) or Google Play (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.encantadodecomerte.app)
A long road ahead
It's clear that none of these mobile apps will be the ultimate solution to the world's food waste problem, but they are a big step in the right direction. Our world needs all the help we can give it, and every bit of food that is not wasted is like a breath of fresh air for the planet.
Over time, our habits as consumers will inevitably have a big impact on the way food is produced and distributed around the world. And if along the way you manage to get involved in your community, get to know the producers of your food and, why not say it, save a few euros.