There is a food waste crisis in the United States. According to the USDA, 30-40% of all food is wasted in the U.S. alone. In order to combat this crisis, sustainable innovators are coming up with creative tools, one of which being food waste apps.
Food waste apps are helping people minimize their waste as well as redistribute uneaten food to those who need it most. From tracking and preventing food expiration to connecting restaurants with customers, all of these apps are geared toward ending the food waste crisis.
Here are 13 apps that help keep food in bellies and out of the trash.
Fridgely is an app that notifies you when your food is about to expire. Each family in the U.S. wastes up to 25% of their food and Fridgely aims to cut that number down.
Simply scan an item’s barcode as you put your groceries away and the app will acquire all the information it needs. The app can sync between devices allowing your whole family to know what is about to expire in the fridge.
Flashfood locates groceries in stores near you that are about to expire. These items can be purchased directly through the app at a lowered price point. This app is currently operating in Canada and in 10 U.S. states, but it’s quickly expanding. If it’s not yet operating near you, keep a lookout for when it does!
3. Food for All
It’s no secret that restaurants waste a significant amount of their food. While poor management is often the reason for this, it’s an easy mistake to over-order and over-produce food, especially when operating at scale. The Food for All app helps customers connect with restaurants at the end of the day to collect leftover food at a discounted rate. This app even offers an added charitable bonus, helping customers donate meals to those in need.
Another app that helps you collaborate with restaurants and stores to combat food waste is Too Good To Go. Participating locations will sell food that is about to expire at a discounted price. Just place your order on the app and pick it up! This app is currently only available in New York City but is looking to launch in other U.S. cities.
It’s an easy mistake to forget that you already have an item at home and accidentally grab the same item during your next grocery run. This app helps prevent that from everything. Kitche allows you to keep track of all the food you purchase by taking a quick photo of your receipt. It will even recommend recipes to you based on what’s in your fridge.
The Food Rescue app provides a way for you to volunteer and support communities struggling to bring enough food home. It helps volunteers and restaurants collaborate with organizations to help them distribute excess food. If you have some time on your hands and are looking for a way to help your community, Food Rescue US is for you.
Misfits Market is an online, eco-friendly grocery store that works directly with farmers and food producers to sell food that would otherwise go to waste. These products are up to 40% off retail. Much of the time, the food that doesn’t get sold goes to waste due to its appearance (despite it being perfectly edible), such as produce that looks “funny”.
When companies host large events, they often produce a huge amount of leftover food. This New York City-based app allows you to notify volunteers who will come collect the food from you and take it to a philanthropic organization.
The system also keeps track of your company’s donations to ensure you get your tax write-off.
No Food Waste is an app based in India that helps volunteers discover food-insecure areas and bring food to them. If you have enough food to feed over 50 people, No Food Waste employees will come to pick up the food and redistribute it to a food-insecure community. The app has already helped 835,000 meals get into hungry bellies.
10. Imperfect Foods
Imperfect Foods is a weekly subscription box that uses your preferences to send you foods that would otherwise go to waste. The foods are often surplus or have cosmetic imperfections, deeming them unusable in grocery stores despite being every bit as edible.
You can see what is being sent in your box before it is shipped and remove items you know may go to waste in your home.
11. Best Before
Best Before is another app that allows you to quickly scan the barcodes of your groceries as you put them away in order to keep track of their expiration dates. The app is sustained by crowdsourcing, so it may be necessary to manually type in some expiration dates to benefit yourself and others who use the app.
You can also sync this app across devices to share expiration dates with the whole family.
OLIO is a great app for your whole community. Simply take photos of the items in your pantry that you don’t plan to use and share them with your neighbors to see if they are interested in taking them off your hands. This is a great way to build community while keeping good food from going into landfills.
13. Food Rescue Hero
Food Rescue Hero connects users with non-profits that need help delivering meals. This app is simple and efficient, allowing “rescues” to be completed in just a half hour. This gives volunteers the opportunity to provide their assistance whenever they have a bit of free time. Food Rescue Hero even provides details about each non-profit so volunteers can get to know the organizations they assist.
Combating waste is a huge challenge, but when everyone does their part it becomes much easier to keep goods out of landfills and deliver them to people in need.
If you would like to explore more practical food waste apps, check out Capital One Shopping’s infographic below.