The amount of food wasted worldwide is a huge and growing problem. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that food waste in the country makes up between 30-40% of the food supply, with about 150,000 tons of food thrown away every day.
In a world where one in seven people does not have enough food or water, it is vital to tackle this problem. Fortunately, technology can help individuals find innovative ways to preserve food and reduce waste.
So, here are some of the best iPhone apps to help you do your part to waste less food while saving money.
1. Too good to go
Too Good to Go is a free app that offers a brilliant service. Download it and search the map for a restaurant, cafe or shop near you with unsold food. Order and pick up a Surprise Bag directly at the location. The prices are incredibly reasonable, starting at just $2, and the value of the content is beyond the price you pay.
The result: you get affordable food and companies have less waste. Everyone wins!
The app is easy to use and allows you to save your favorite places, get notifications when new Surprise Bags are available and place orders. It even keeps track of how much money and CO2 you’ve saved! Too Good to Go is currently active in 18 countries.
to download: too good to go (Free)
OLIO is another ingenious app that helps you share more and waste less. Sign up for free to access a database of foods people near you are giving away, or ask to borrow an item you need.
OLIO is not limited to food – you can give away and receive all kinds of household items, from furniture to clothes. As you share, you earn karma points and unlock badges.
Subscribe to become an OLIO supporter and get a unique supporter profile along with the ability to view listings on a map view in the app. However, the main benefit is to invest in supporting OLIO’s mission.
It’s a friendly community with a supportive forum and it’s available worldwide so anyone can join. Like OLIO, you can easily find many more sites and apps to help you reduce waste.
to download: OLIO (Free, subscription available)
Kitche is a free app designed to make sure you don’t waste food in your home. Use it to log all the food in your kitchen – a brilliant feature that lets you scan your store receipts so the process takes seconds.
The app keeps an inventory of all the food you have in stock and categorizes everything. It can then suggest what you might need to buy the next time you shop.
There’s even a recipe section that you can filter to show recipes with the ingredients you have. The result: no more food waste. So address the impact of your actions within Kitche and use the tips sections to get great ideas about food storage.
to download: kitchen (Free)
Product packaging can be confusing and sometimes it is not always clear what the recycling rules are in your area. That’s where Horizon comes in handy.
This free recycling app is full of great advice to make sure you waste less and recycle more. Enter your location information, scan a product and learn how to recycle it on your behalf. It is especially great at identifying the many types of plastic food packaging.
Horizon is packed with information about responsible use of resources and recycling and is supported by organizations such as the Green Tech Alliance. You can also listen to some great podcasts on how to put sustainability into practice.
to download: Horizon (Free)
“Save food effortlessly” is the pride of this free app. Karma offers restaurants and shops a way to sell surplus food at a discounted price so that it doesn’t go to waste.
There is usually a normal time in the afternoon when the food listings are uploaded, so check what times your local places update their inventory and then buy it in the app and go along with your receipt to pick up your food.
This brilliant app works similarly to Too Good To Go, but allows you to choose exactly what food you buy, so there are no surprises.
to download: Karma (Free)
Evocco helps you to become more aware of the ecological footprint of your groceries. This food app allows you to photograph your receipts when you buy food and achieve a sustainability score. The app will suggest which products you should buy more of and which you should consume less of to improve your score.
Even better, you can make your shopping carbon neutral by using the carbon offset feature in the app. This allows the people behind Evocco to plant native forest in Ireland, sequester carbon and restore natural habitats.
Evocco will certainly make you more aware of the impact of your consumer choices. And if you’re interested in this topic, you can also learn more about zero-waste work on YouTube.
to download: Evocco (Free)
7. Zero Waste
NoWast is a home food inventory tool. It helps you keep track of what’s in your fridge, freezer, or pantry and keeps track of expiration dates. This way you avoid unnecessary purchases in the store, you plan your meals based on which products should be used quickly and you generally save a lot of food and money.
Scan the barcodes of your products or use the database to add items to your inventory, then check them off as used or expired and add them to your shopping list. You can even earn reward coins for your actions and then exchange them for discounts on products in NoWaste’s online marketplace.
NoWaste is in use in at least 180 countries at the time of writing and is available in seven languages. If you find this app useful, consider upgrading to NoWaste Pro for features like a professional scanner and unlimited supplies.
to download: No waste (Free, subscription available)
Develop sustainable food habits for life
With approximately eight billion people on the planet, our world’s precious resources are in greater demand than ever before. We are all consumers and everyone makes choices every day about what we eat and how we shop.
Fortunately, these apps for your iPhone can help you use food resources wisely and avoid unnecessary waste.