According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, an estimated 40 percent of U.S. food goes uneaten. Think that’s bad? We generate three times more food waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s than over other times of the year, according to World Watch Institute.
When you consider we talk so much about helping those in need this time of year, the thought of throwing out perfectly good food is just sad.
I received an e-mail about a new trend in the mobile app world that could help this problem. It turns out there are several foodie apps dedicated to helping reduce food waste, as well as increasing efficiency and saving money.
According to the news release, “With just a few clicks or taps, these clever Smartphone apps help users do their part to minimize food waste while getting something in return, like a great recipe or a restaurant discount, during the holidays and every day.”
Interested? Here’s a summary of the apps:
- Leloca– One restaurant in the U.S. can produce anywhere from 25,000-75,000 pounds of food waste a year (Green Restaurant Association.) The Leloca app helps minimize restaurant waste while offering users great deals on dining out. When there are open tables at a restaurant food is wasted, as well as utilities, staffing and money. Leloca offers a platform for restaurants to activate dining discounts on Leloca when they have open space. The discount is seen by users in the area, bringing diners in and thereby minimizing the restaurant’s waste. Leloca is a great alternative to hosting a potentially wasteful holiday feast, offering people a dining discount and the ability to save on food waste both at home and at the restaurant dined at. Leloca is working with local charities such as the West Side Campaign Against Hunger to split their profits with the charity every time a deal is secured. www.Leloca.com
- Gojee– Gojee is a recipe sharing site driven by food photography, but other than browsing through mouthwatering photos, users can also search for recipes by ingredient. The app allows users to type in the ingredients in their cabinets or fridge and it will return recipes that feature those ingredients. This means great holiday recipes can come from what is already in the pantry or fridge, reducing waste as well as saving money. Gojee has about 10,000 recipes aggregated* from over 300 contributors* on the web. www.Gojee.com.
- Green Egg Shopper– The holiday shopping list is almost always a nightmare to navigate and much longer than it should be! This grocery shopping app helps people manage and organize their shopping lists in a way that reduces food waste and saves money. Users can sort their shopping list alphabetically, by category or by priority (low, medium, high), as well as program in use-by dates, see built in categories of shelf life (short, medium, long) and much more; all helpful for holiday meal planning. Beyond organization, the app helps to avoid over-buying, minimize food spoiling and even save a little paper on grocery lists.http://www.greeneggshopper.com/
- 222 Million Tons – This app was inspired by the 222 million tons of food wasted each year and the question of how one can get through a whole bundle of celery without getting sick of it. 222 Million Tons develops one-week menus and shopping lists according to family size, whether it is one or nine. Two less or two more coming this year for Thanksgiving dinner? 222 Million Tons can help develop a menu that is appropriate for the family size. The app helps people reduce waste (so all of that celery is used) while still being able to enjoy variety and excitement in the holiday menu. http://222milliontons.com/app/