Monday, November 23, 2015

Just in time for Thanksgiving, apps offer ways to reduce food waste, donate leftovers

Thanksgiving is a time when friends and families gather to eat mass quantities of food. Now is a good time to highlight the problem of food waste in the U.S., with 40 percent of all food going to waste "because of excessive portion sizes at restaurants, misinterpretation of expiration dates on packaged foods and overstocking," Danielle Nierenberg, Emily Nink and Katie Opalinska report for Food Tank. Additionally, grocery stores throw away $15 billion worth of fruits and vegetables every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

There are simple ways to reduce food waste, many of them inches away, writes Food Tank. "Numerous food waste apps have been created to help consumers throw away less food in their homes with date trackers, educational platforms and recipe generators. Additionally, restaurants, grocery stores and other food businesses can use the apps to donate food they can no longer sell."

Here are some apps to consider:
  •  — connects farmers and gardeners to food pantries.
  • Green Egg Shopper — tracks expiration dates, coupons, vouchers and overall food expenditures.
  • Feeding Forward — allows California farmers and businesses to donate excess products.
  • FlashFood — Connects Arizona food service institutions to food recovery organizations and local community centers.
  • Food Cowboy — redistributes rejected deliveries from wholesalers and restaurants to food banks and soup kitchens.
  • FoodKeeper — offers storage method tips for extended life.
  • FridgePal — tracks expiration dates.
  • LeftoverSwap — arranges for pickup with community members who are interested in leftovers.
  • PareUp — allows New York City consumers to purchase discounted unsold food.
  • Reta — sends timely reminders to phone.
  • Spoiler Alert — allows food distributors to donate surplus product to charities in Boston.
  • Still Tasty — tips about storing food.
  • Waste No Food — connects farms, restaurants, cafeterias and grocery stores in San Francisco with local groups that need donations.
  • Zero Percent — allows Chicago retailers to post available donations.

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