This App Helps You Fight Food Waste by Getting a Cheap Meal
Wilson said the concept was originally targeted at college students, those with an environmental interest in limiting food waste, and budget-conscious people looking for cheap takeaway meals—but it caught on with a broader audience.
“We’ve saved over 100,000 meals from the landfill since launching in Denmark in the back end of last year,” he said.
According to experts like JoAnne Berkenkamp, senior advocate and food-waste prevention specialist at the National Resources Defense Council, not only is the waste rate unsustainable, but it results in businesses leaving money on the table.
“Many food-service purveyors don’t recognize the amount of food that goes to waste, and they underestimate the value of it,” Berkenkamp said.
Researchers at the University of Arizona found that 54 billion pounds of food are wasted in restaurants in the United States every year. Only about 16 percent of that restaurant food waste is donated or recycled—and three-quarters of that is recycled cooking oil, not consumable food, according to findings by the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. Those numbers can be improved if reducing food waste becomes an economic imperative, and innovations like Too Good to Go make it easier to both redirect and quantify the value of food that would normally land in the trash.
“Restaurants are busy, and they take food that does go to waste as a cost of doing business,” Berkenkamp said. “But people are starting to question that assumption, and because of that, we’re going through a period of innovation in the restaurant environment.”