4 Free Apps That Help Reduce Food Waste

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Combat food waste with your phone with these free apps…

As we’ve discussed before, food waste is a major problem in America, with some estimates showing that as much as 40% of all food produced is wasted! There are lots of steps that consumers can take to reduce food waste at home, from meal planning and smart shopping, to composting, or swapping and preserving excess garden produce – but what about more high-tech solutions?

It’s true, technology may be able to help reduce food waste in a number of ways. For example, the four free apps below offer various solutions for reducing the problem of wasted food – both at home and in your local community. While some of these may only currently work in specific areas, as more users come on board, their usefulness will expand into other cities as well.

Here’s a quick rundown of these helpful apps, courtesy of ModernFarmer.com:

1.) OLIO: OLIO empowers neighbors to post, and claim, extra food…  This peer-to-peer network depends on a significant user base for peak performance—something that’s happened only in major cities so far. There, stuff goes fast: 40 percent of listings are claimed within an hour.

2.) Food for All: Restaurants offer deep discounts on stuff they’d otherwise throw out, sometimes for as much as 80 percent off. Currently limited to New York City and Boston, Food for All plans to on-board five more locations this summer. Descriptions are kept deliberately vague (“three pastries,” “salad with protein”) to prevent users from gaming the system by holding out for favorite dishes.

3.) Food Rescue US: Join 1,900 “food heroes” in 12 locales who receive alerts when surplus eats need to be picked up (typically from grocery stores, farmers markets, or caterers) and delivered to soup kitchens and other hunger-prevention organizations.

4.) USDA FoodKeeper: Hit “Add to Calendar” on this app (a joint venture of the USDA, Cornell University, and the Food Marketing Institute) when stocking your fridge or freezer with various foods, and at the appropriate time, you’ll be reminded to use it up before it goes bad.


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