Food waste is a huge global problem. I hate food waste but my cut down on it doesn’t equal to the amount wasted each year. Every year around Christmas, roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year.
According to The Telegraph:
This equates to approximately 1.3 billion tons, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) – equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop. At the same time, 795 million people around the world were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016.
In the UK alone, 8.4m people in the UK struggle to afford a meal, according to the UN’s FAO – despite the UK wasting billions through food waste every year, according to food waste charity WRAP.
So it’s no surprise innovators around the world are trying to come up with new high-tech ways to tackle food waste. We’ve seen it in the news, we’ve read countless publications highlighting the battle people have with waste and supermarkets are just as guilty as us folks. We may do our bit but we’re not doing enough. Consumer behaviour tends to be the biggest cause of waste but a few changes here and there could really make an impact in minimising your impact on waste. Of course on a global level there needs to be a bigger stand but by doing your bit you’re helping change the future of it.
Earlier this year Feed Back Global wrote an article with a shocking number of statistics about food waste showing supermarkets drive food overproduction and waste on UK farms. Their investigation into supply chains found just how much food was wasted and how much us the public weren’t notified.
The scale of farm level food waste is really mind-boggling:
Farmers surveyed for this report wasted on average 10–16% on typical years, equal to around 22,000–37,000 tonnes: enough food to provide 150,000 to 250,000 people with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day for a whole year. WRAP’s most recent research suggests that a conservative estimate of farm level food waste is 2.5 million tonnes, with the associated cost being £0.8 billion. There is a distinct lack of research on farm-level food waste, particularly when compared to household food waste – this needs to be addressed.
This does need to be addressed. These figures are truly shocking and will continue to get worse unless something is done, fast. Whilst there are many ways to help prevent this, you can now do your bit cheaply and cost-effectively. There’s a new app available thanks to a brainwave by Dane Thomas Momsen who noticed during. Restaurant visit, how much food from a buffet was being thrown out at the end of the evening. That’s where the idea of the app Too Good To Go started.
3 years ago this website-turned app (there’s still a website) allows users to buy food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants, bakeries, cafés and takeaways at discounted rates.
Klaus Pedersen, one of the Danish co-founders of the app, tells Too Good to Go’s story: “After that night in the restaurant, Thomas called a number of friends and we started working on the idea together. Out of an apartment in Copenhagen we built a website, on which restaurants and bakeries could offer their daily leftovers, and consumers could buy them at bargain prices. The response was very positive, although it was initially a laborious process in practice. Soon we built the Too Good To Go app and now the whole process of supply and demand is arranged by the users themselves.”
The app has been downloaded 3 million times since it’s launch 2 years ago, and its available here in U.K., Denmark, France, Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Switzerland.
By using the app, to date 2.6 million meals have been saved from the trash and the aim is for the app to expand further so that this number can increase. If Too Good To Go helps stop the mass problem of food waste, then it’s something that everyone should download. It’s free to download and worth looking into. There needs to be more restaurants signing up to this.
Have you used this app? What do you think? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.