14 Apps Preventing Food Waste – Food Tank (2022)

One-third of the world’s food ends up in landfills, while almost a billion people around the globe are hungry. If food waste were a country, it would be the third leading producer of carbon emissions after the United States and China. Fortunately, organizations and individuals around the world have developed and promoted numerous apps to alleviate the problem. These apps help connect farmers to consumers, retailers to charities, and growers to intermediaries. Food Tank is highlighting 14 apps and their smart efforts to reduce hunger and eliminate waste.

1. Flashfood

A family member’s horror after catering an event that disposed of US$5,000 worth of food inspired the creation of Flashfood. The app prevents food waste in the U.S. and Canada in two ways: It re-sells grocery foods approaching their best-before date at a discount, and it saves “not good enough” retail items and ships them to customers. Farmers and growers can also give Flashfood items that were rejected by grocers, to be sent to environmental-conscious consumers.

2. Food Cowboy

Food Cowboy arranges efficient communication between food donors and charities and fast delivery of excess food in the U.S. Delivery drivers, caterers, and anyone working with large volumes of edible but rejected food create alerts in the app. Food pantries, processors, and composters immediately receive these alerts and contact the source for delivery arrangements. Food Cowboy charges a small commission for the service. For instance, a food bank can buy as much as they can store for 10 cents per pound.

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3. Food for All

Food for All eliminates last-minute restaurant food waste in Boston and New York City. It connects customers to restaurants one hour before they close, for meal discounts as high as 80 percent. Customers can enter their location and explore nearby deals, and they pick up their order at a time specified by the restaurant. Users can also donate food to people in need through the app.

4. Food Rescue Hero

Food Rescue Hero turns average eaters into food heroes. The app connects users with nonprofits who serve those who are food insecure. Helping guide “heroes” to locations to pick up or drop off food, the app boasts a rescue schedule flexible enough to accommodate daily, weekly, or once-only rescues—and each rescue takes as little as 30 minutes. The app also gives heroes information about the nonprofit’s work, mission, and impact.

5. Food Rescue US

The Food Rescue US app fights food insecurity by connecting food donors with hunger relief organizations. The app targets anyone who wants to donate or receive food. Users answer a few questions and then request a food pick-up. The algorithm matches surplus food to a nearby shelter and sends a driver to transport the food. More than 2,200 registered volunteers have rescued and delivered 23.1 million meals to people in need.

6. GoMkt

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In New York City, goMkt connects restaurants that have unsold food with customers looking for discounts. By purchasing food as take-out through the app, customers save up to 75 percent off the original price—and reduce potential food waste. The business-to-consumer platform plans to expand to larger food businesses and connect them to charities, composters, and anaerobic digestion facilities.

7. Goodr

With a 24/7 service in Atlanta, Goodr picks up excess food from businesses and delivers it to nonprofits. Goodr perceives hunger not as a scarcity but as a logistics issue. Restaurants, catering, and events companies end up with a lot of leftover food, but rarely have the time to make donations, so surplus food ends up in landfills. Goodr allows businesses to schedule food pick-ups, and the company currently generates about US$30,000 of revenue a month.

8. ImpactVision

ImpactVision combines the topics of food safety and food waste to enable a transparent food system. The app uses advanced imaging technology to assess the quality of food. For example, their Fruitcam assesses the ripeness of fruits, so wholesalers decide which ones to ship abroad and which to sell at local stores, and their Fishcam can mark the difference between fresh and frozen fish fillets. ImpactVision enables fast decision making on food quality. With this in mind, businesses can reduce waste and deliver high-quality products to buyers.

9. NoFoodWasted

NoFoodWasted aims at reducing food waste in the Netherlands by 50 percent in the next five years. This app stimulates demand for discounted products with a best before date. It alerts supermarket shoppers which items are approaching their expiration date. Users do not even need to go to the supermarket to explore the deals, as they can check them online. So far, more than 77,000 users downloaded the app, which achieved 13 percent of its waste reduction goal.

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10. No Food Waste

No Food Waste crowd-sources data on hunger spots in India to facilitate surplus food donations. So far, the app has identified 80 locations in Delhi and the capital region. Users themselves can mark hunger spots, which the team verifies and enters in their database. Users can also donate food or request the app to deliver the donation using its volunteer drivers. Usually, No Food Waste picks up the excess food for a minimum of 50 people. For fewer than 50 people, users drop the food at designated collection points or local facility centers. So far, No Food Waste has fed 500,704 people, saving 165 tons of food.

11. OLIO

OLIO taps into the conscious consumer mindset to offer a food-sharing platform, connecting people with neighbors and local shops all over the world. Users add a photo and description of their item, indicating when and where to pick it up. Customers frequently donate fresh garden vegetables, bread from bakeries, and unwanted household food.

12. Transfernation

Transfernation diverts 1.8 to 2.26 metric tons of food per week from landfills to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and church feeding programs in the New York City metro area. Volunteers, Uber drivers, and Lyft drivers pick up leftover food from offices, receptions, and film sets to redistribute to those in need. The system provides benefits to each type of user: Donors receive a tax write-off for their food donations and redirect their disposal costs towards a good cause; transporters earn US$15 per pick-up; and feeding programs receive free high-quality food.

13. Winnow

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Winnow seeks to minimize kitchen food waste through smart meter technology attached to a food waste bin. Using a touch screen, users enter the food type, specific product, and what kind of waste it has produced. Staff can then track major sources of waste and concentrate on improvements. Targeting chefs and commercial kitchens, the app has spread to over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Since 2013, Winnow claims to have saved its users US$21 million. Each customer saves 3 to 8 percent on food costs.

14. Yo No Desperdicio

Yo No Desperdicio, meaning “I do not waste” in Spanish, promotes the exchange of raw and cooked food in Spain. On this food-sharing app, users post a picture of the item they offer with information such as quantity, location, and an expiration date. Both parties arrange the swap of their items in a private message. Members also share recipes and tips for preventing food waste.

Katerina Bozhinova

Katerina Bozhinova is a former Research and Communication Intern for Food Tank. She has a Master of Science in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich, with a concentration in Agriculture and Environmental Policy. Katerina is passionate about local land rights, urban farming, and sustainable agriculture. In her free time, she enjoys reading novels and long walks in nature.

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How do you reduce food waste app? ›

Apps to cut food waste at home:
  1. NoWaste.
  2. OLIO.
  3. Kitche.
  4. Food for All.
  5. Too Good To Go.
  6. YourLocal.
  7. Karma.
  8. Phenix.

How can we prevent food and food waste loss? ›

Here are 7 ways you can reduce food waste in your kitchen:
  1. Take an inventory. Take stock of your pantry, refrigerator and freezer before going to the store to prevent overbuying.
  2. Create a meal plan. ...
  3. Save and eat leftovers safely. ...
  4. Store food appropriately. ...
  5. Buy "ugly" foods. ...
  6. Compost. ...
  7. Use leftovers creatively.
4 Jun 2021

How and why we should reduce food waste? ›

Wholesome food that is currently wasted could help feed families in need. Safe and wholesome food that is currently thrown away could help feed hungry people and reduce food insecurity today. Each year, Feeding America and its network of food banks rescues around 3.6 billion pounds of food.

How can food waste can be controlled? ›

Pickling, drying, canning, fermenting, freezing and curing are all methods you can use to make food last longer, thus reducing waste. Not only will these methods shrink your carbon footprint, they will save you money as well. What's more, most preservation techniques are simple and can be fun.

What is a food rescue app? ›

The app offers produce, meat, fish, bread, dairy and pantry staples nearing their best before date and often marked down by at least 50 per cent. Some items last for weeks, if frozen or cooked.

Is it too good to go free apps? ›

Too Good To Go is the free app which allows you to purchase unsold food from top eateries at the end of service, to prevent it from being thrown away.

What are 10 ways to save food? ›

  1. 10 Ways To Stop Food Waste. 4/27/2021. ...
  2. Avoid buying in bulk. ​A key to reducing food waste is to shop smart for your groceries. ...
  3. Create a meal schedule. ...
  4. Try to save leftovers. ...
  5. Store your food correctly. ...
  6. Don't be afraid to try out new recipes. ...
  7. Don't judge your produce by its cover. ...
  8. Preserve your food.
27 Apr 2021

What are examples of food waste? ›

Examples include unsold food from retail stores; plate waste, uneaten prepared food, or kitchen trimmings from restaurants, cafeterias, and households; or by-products from food and beverage processing facilities.

What is the best way to reduce food waste essay? ›

Here are some easy actions you can take to re-connect to food and what it stands for:
  1. Adopt a healthier, more sustainable diet. ...
  2. Buy only what you need. ...
  3. Pick ugly fruit and vegetables. ...
  4. Store food wisely. ...
  5. Understand food labelling. ...
  6. Start small. ...
  7. Love your leftovers. ...
  8. Put your food waste to use.
29 Sept 2020

Why is it important to save food? ›

Benefits of Preventing Wasted Food at Home

Save money by buying only what you need, eating what you buy, and avoiding throwing away food. The average family of four spends $1,500 each year on food that ends up uneaten . Reduce your environmental and climate change footprint. Conserve resources and energy.

What is the impact of food waste? ›

Food waste is not only damaging to your pocket, it's also bad for the environment. Producing, moving, storing and cooking food uses energy, fuel and water. Each of which let off greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

What is the best way to manage food waste at home? ›

Steps to Reduce Food Waste
  1. Make a list. One of the easiest ways to reduce food wastage is to shop smart. ...
  2. Plan ahead. Speaking of ingredients, food prepping is another way to say goodbye to food waste. ...
  3. Try composting. ...
  4. Start your own garden. ...
  5. Eat out wisely (and ethically)

What is food for all? ›

Food for All DC strives to provide food to low income home-bound residents in real need. Our clients are generally elderly citizens, handicapped or single mothers with young children. The operation is entirely volunteer operated with the assistance of public and private funding.

What does the term organic waste mean? ›

Organic waste generally refers to biodegradable, compostable waste from homes, businesses, institutions, and industrial sources. Examples include food scraps, yard and garden trimmings, food-soiled paper products and biosolids.

What recovered food? ›

What Is Food Recovery? Food recovery is the practice of collecting wholesome food that would otherwise go to waste and donating it to local food distribution agencies to help feed those in need. Food is collected from places such as farms, schools, restaurants, grocery stores and produce markets.

What is too good waste? ›

The Campaign

Too Good To Waste launched in London on October 5 2011, with the aim of raising both consumer and industry awareness about the appalling scale of restaurant food waste, alongside offering viable alternatives for diners and restaurants: Think inside the box!

What do restaurants do with leftovers? ›

Some of it goes into staff meals, but restaurants throw away almost 94 percent of their excess food—most of which ends up in landfills, where it releases methane gas that contributes to global warming. The resources used to produce that food also go to waste.

What countries is Too Good To Go in? ›

  • United States.
  • Austria.
  • Belgium.
  • Canada.
  • Denmark.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Ireland.

Why is food waste a problem? ›

Food waste is a problem because it costs Americans billions of dollars in lost revenue, puts a tax on natural and human resources, and harms the environment by contributing to global warming and climate change when food waste is added to landfills and produces the greenhouse gas methane.

Why do people waste food? ›

Food is lost or wasted for a variety of reasons: bad weather, processing problems, overproduction and unstable markets cause food loss long before it arrives in a grocery store, while overbuying, poor planning and confusion over labels and safety contribute to food waste at stores and in homes.

Why we should not waste food essay? ›

Even our average food portions have quadrupled since the 1950s. When food gets wasted, it also wastes the water, money, and fuel it takes to grow, store, transport, and sell the food we are supposed to consume.

How does reducing food waste help the environment? ›

Benefits of Reducing Wasted Food

Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint. Conserves energy and resources, preventing pollution involved in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, and selling food (not to mention hauling the food waste and then putting it in the landfill).

What are the top 3 types of food waste? ›

Here's our list of the top five most wasted foods and how to use them up.
  • #1 Bread. Over 240 million slices of bread are chucked away every year. ...
  • #2 Milk. Around 5.9 million glasses of milk are poured down the sink every year, but it's so easy to use it up. ...
  • #3 Potatoes. ...
  • #4 Cheese. ...
  • #5 Apples.

How did food waste start? ›

Age of Industrialization

Food became commercialized and went from farm to table and from to factory to table. Consequently, families started to waste food because it was less expensive and more accessible [2].

How does the OLIO app work? ›

OLIO is super easy! To make an item available, simply open the app, add a photo, description, and when and where the item is available for pick-up. To access items, simply browse the listings available near you, request whatever takes your fancy and arrange a pick-up via private messaging.

What's the OLIO app? ›

Olio (rendered as OLIO) is a mobile app for food-sharing, aiming to reduce food waste. It does this by connecting those with surplus food to those who need or wish to consume such food. The food must be edible; it can be raw or cooked, sealed or open.

How does the Too Good To Go app work? ›

How does it work? We help stores and restaurants sell their surplus food through our free smartphone app. Customers choose a restaurant or store, they order a “surprise bag” of surplus food at a reduced price and then collect it from the store during a pre-set collection window.

Is the OLIO app free? ›

Olio's free app lets users and businesses – such as Tesco – offer up food and drink which would otherwise go to waste. People nearby can then collect it for free. Tesco has already trialled its partnership with Olio at 250 stores, and given away almost 195,000 portions for food as a result – around 36 tons in total.

How do you get free food from OLIO? ›

Olio is a free sharing app where people give away food and other household items to people living close by. Everything listed on the app should be free, as it is being given away, so you should not have to pay for any items that are available.

Do you have to pay to join OLIO? ›

Join millions of neighbours all over the world who are using OLIO to share more, care more and waste less. Give & get free stuff and borrow & lend household items – all directly from your community.

How much can I request on OLIO? ›

Share as widely as possible, ideally giving 2 - 3 items per requester, to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit.

What do Tesco do with leftover food? ›

We're determined to get good food to people who need it, when they need it most. In the UK we have sent no food waste to landfill since 2009. If we can't sell food, we distribute it to charities and community groups, and offer it to colleagues through our Colleague Shop.

Is OLIO the same as too good to go? ›

Olio is more personal and community-based than Too Good to Go, and consumer group Which? reported that of all the apps, Olio has more community spirit. If you have surplus food you can't bear throwing away, simply list it on the app and someone in your area will pick it up.

How long has OLIO been going? ›

Celestial-One and her business partner Tessa Clarke started Olio in 2015, and it has grown from a local initiative in north London to a company with a presence in 46 countries and more than 900,000 users.

What is a Greggs magic bag? ›

Greggs ' magic bags contain a mix of food including sausage rolls, wraps, cookies, sandwiches and doughnuts, and more than 1,200 Greggs sites across the UK are now available to snap up surplus food.

Do you pay for food in Too Good To Go? ›

Then they pay for the food — all the items are priced between $2.60 and $5.30 — and visit the restaurant at the end of the lunch or dinner shift (the app tells you what time) to pick it up. Restaurants can list the kinds of items they anticipate having in excess, and change their offerings by the day.

How can I earn money from good to go? ›

pay a small commission fee to Too Good To Go for each meal sold. WHAT DOES IT DO? Too Good To Go's primary goal is to fight the growing issue of food waste. To do so, it provides a solution for food service providers to sell their food surplus which otherwise would have been wasted at the end of the business day.

How can I get free food with no money? ›

The largest foodbank organisation in the UK is our partner, the Trussell Trust. We can refer you to if you come to us for help. It has over 1,200 foodbanks across the country. You can use their website to find your local foodbank.

Does Tesco use OLIO? ›

Tesco has partnered with Olio to hand out free food that would otherwise go to waste.

Who is behind OLIO? ›

Hello, we're Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One, Co-Founders of OLIO. Here's the story of how OLIO grew from an idea into a marketplace saving thousands of food items every week.


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