Wide range of smartphone apps help reduce food waste

Here’s another food waste post from the archive.

Radish_3371103037_4ab07db0bf_oAre my radishes still good? They are, but I need one more ingredient for this soup. Can I get a deal? Forget it, I just got notification of a restaurant special that’s too good to pass up. Let’s go!

Consumer smart phone apps that help prevent food waste take several different forms. They may organize pantries and grocery lists, determine if previously purchased food is still good, help with food preparation, or connect consumers with deals from retailers and restaurants.

Green Egg Shopper is an app on the iOS platform. Users create a shopping list in the app. At the store, they enter expiration dates into the app, then, they can check for items nearing expiration in their pantry any time, and plan meals accordingly. Is My Food Safe is an app for iOS or Android that answers question about best storage practices and shelf life, and provides safe preparation practices as well.

Apps that notify consumers of special offers by retailers and restaurants of perishable food need to have a local user base. In New York City, there’s PareUp, where restaurants and retailers post the availability of discounted, surplus perishables, and consumer reap the benefits. They plan to expand to twelve more cities in 2015, visit them to suggest Cincinnati! In San Francisco, Cropmobster connects an entire food production and consumption community, with items discounted, free to take, wanted, and events all part of the conversation. Ratatouille is an app for iOS that connects consumers in a 12.5 mile radius with one another to share excess produce. Or, there’s LeLoca, an app for iOS and Android that allows restaurants owners to reach potential diners in a geographic area which they control. Those potential diners have 45 minutes to get a table, and collect their discount.

Users who take advantage of these apps can both save money, and reduce food waste.

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