Top 9 Food Waste Apps For a More Sustainable Kitchen

How technology can help to become a food hero: save money & the planet!

Food waste is a serious problem: on average each of us contributes 100 kg of food that’s good to go to landfill. The global impact of greenhouse gases from the production of food, transport, and packaging to end up in the trash is massive. Plus it costs you money. So let’s get a bit more practical using food waste apps to end the problem for good!

Want to be a food hero that rescues food from the landfill? It’s easy to win the fight against food waste when you have at your disposal some of these incredibly smart food waste apps, that not only will help you save the planet but most definitely result in some savings. 

Why is saving food waste from landfill important?

Food waste heavily contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases. As food rots and degrades, it emits these harmful gases, like methane, which are 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Food waste is not only damaging to your pocket, but it’s also bad for the environment. Producing, moving, storing and cooking food uses energy, fuel and water. Each of which let off greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

Each American is estimated to toss more than 100 kg (219 pounds) of food per year. In fact, between 30 to 40 per cent of the entire food supply in the United States, and nearly 80 billion pounds of wasted food per year. [Source: RTS]

The global full costs of food wastage amount to about 2.6 trillion USD per year, including USD 700 billion of environmental costs and USD 900 billion of social costs. [Source: fao.org]

The 21 best sustainability apps for your eco-living journey

The best food waste apps to become a food hero

If you want to have a positive impact on the planet by avoiding food going to landfill, technology can help you in the level of a kitchen manager. Whether it’s restaurant food on a budget, creating a network of heroes rescuing food from landfill….

Stopping food waste is as easy as tapping your phone. Here are the leading apps to help you have a more sustainable kitchen:

1. KitchenPal

This app is more than just a food waste app. It’s like a kitchen manager that runs your entire kitchen. It keeps food from expiring, plans your meals, creates an “eat me first” bin, prevents food from getting lost in the pantry, and makes grocery shopping easy. 

The app organizes your pantry so you know what’s in there. It also zeroes in on keeping food from your pantry going past the expiry date, it suggests recipes based on what’s in your pantry and recipes that will use up the expiring food in your pantry, and it lets you create a shopping list.  

I personally, love this app. It’s brilliant how it does the meal planning for me. It makes it a no-brainer as the app shows me what I can whip up with what I already have.

To keep you really motivated to eat your food, the app uses guilt or at least shows you how wasteful you are as it tracks the food you wasted.  

2. ResQ Club

How do you feel about having a pool of restaurant chefs at your fingertips ready to make you your meal for the day? Sounds like a dream right? Well this app does just that!

How does it work? The app shows the available surplus food from partner restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. You just have to choose which one you feel like eating that day, make an in-app purchase and go pick up the food. And the best part, these delicious food are sold at discounted prices. This app works in Europe, mostly in Finland and Denmark.

You get to rescue food from the landfill and have restaurant food on a budget. Making a difference never tasted so good! 

3. Olio

This is a sharing app that lets the average person get the food they want for FREE! It’s a network of donors who give away their surplus food to people who want that food. 

How does it work? It’s location-based, so all you have to do is sign up. And the home page will show what food is being given away near you. The donor and the recipient will both agree on the specifics like time of pick-up, place and other considerations.

Olio’s goal is to make it easy for people to share food, thereby winning the fight against food waste. This app tracks and shows you how much food you’ve rescued and how big an impact you’ve made.

4. FoodCloud

This is the only app targeted at businesses. This is food waste app is exclusive for food banks, charities and food institutions. 

FoodCloud is a network of heroes saving food from the landfill and diverting it to charities and communities that need food. The institutions and food businesses that are involved, act like Robinhood by saving their surplus food and divert it to a range of charities (a good example of this is OzHarvest).

How does it work? Partner donors register the surplus they have for the day and the charity groups get notified on what’s available. Both parties communicate and arrange the logistics of getting the food delivered. That way, the charities and foodbanks get access to food at a discounted price, lowering their cost.

FoodCloud shares its technology with food retail stores, grocery chains and other food institutions to make it easier for them to match its surplus food to charity groups that need it. This app takes care of the admin, coordination work, back end and the minutiae of being an institutional food donor.

5. No Waste

This app helps the average household prevent waste by zeroing in on food going bad. It’s like hiring an inventory manager to run your kitchen. It. shows you what’s inside your pantry and tracks the expiry dates of each item. 

It also acts as a personal assistant for your grocery shopping. This app lets you create a shopping list so you cut out impulse buys and walk out of the supermarket with only what you went there for. This shopping list is a powerful secret weapon that lets you prevent food waste even before the food gets into your pantry. No more buying two of the same pasta sauce since you prepped a  list beforehand.

What’s a big motivation to get you to eat your food? Knowing how much money you’re wasting when you throw away food. So this app built in a tracker that shows you exactly that. 

6. Karma

Imagine if you can change the world just by eating. You can save the planet by doing something as effortless as enjoying a good meal. Well, that’s what this app aims to do. It empowers the average person to help restaurants, cafes and supermarket fight food waste while also saving money on food.

The app shows the available surplus food for the day and its discounted prices. It lists the surplus food of the partner restaurants, cafes and supermarket. To make everything seamless, you can easily make the purchase while inside the app. And then you just pick up the food. 

Since Karma makes saving the world fun, it also gamified the whole experience and rewards you with points for every food rescue. It’s like a game, where you need to level up with the ultimate goal going from Climate Cadet (beginner) to Tree Hugger (expert with a lot of food rescues).

To add to the feel-good factor of saving the world, it also tracks how much savings you’ve made and how much food you’ve rescued. 

This is app is perfect for the millennial and digital natives who are used to playing games on their phone. It makes saving the world so much fun.

7. Ywaste

This app is based in Australia and helps locals discover the culinary treasures of their city while saving the world. This app is GOODness overload. It lets you eat good food, do good and is good for your wallet

How does it work? The app shows the available surplus food from partner restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. And you get to choose which food you feel like eating and rescue that food. When you buy these food rescues, they are sold at marked down prices.

Ywaste also encourages the practice of Bring Your Own container so you further reduce plastic waste. 

These lucky Australians, for them winning against food waste means eating well WHILE saving money.

8. ShareWaste

Not all food waste comes from food that’s gone bad. Another secret source of waste comes from the fruit and vegetable peels we throw away. These food scraps aren’t edible, but they’re not exactly waste either. They are the building blocks of healthy soil.

This app takes those food scraps and creates healthy soil thru composting. The app is like a Tinder for donors of kitchen scraps and people who want it. 

How does it work? It’s location-based, so you have to sign up, either as a donor of kitchen scraps or as a composting host (recipient). If you signed up as a composting host, the home page will show the list of donors near you and vice versa. The donor and the recipient will both agree on the specifics like time of pick-up, place and other considerations and voila! Kitchen scraps get diverted from landfills to create healthy garden soil. 

9. Too Good to Go

What if winning against global warming means enjoying restaurant food on a budget? Huh? Isn’t making your own meal kinder to the planet? Not so, for people using the Too Good to Go app. Winning against global warming means winning against food waste. That’s why ordinary people use the app as their weapon to win against global warming. When you rescue food from a restraint, you’re actually doing Mother Earth a favour by diverting it from being thrown in a landfill.

How does it work? The app shows the available surplus food from partner restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. And you get to choose which food you feel like eating and rescue that food. When you buy these food rescues, they are sold at marked down prices.

At the end of the day, all these apps have made it so easy for us to win against food waste. Thanks to them, doing good has never tasted so good.

Top 9 food waste apps for a more sustainable kitchen

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Jean Ong

Jean Ong is the founder of Ecolover United, a movement that makes it easier for everyday folk to live sustainably and in style. She graduated college with a degree in Business Management major in Marketing, she currently works as a store manager by day and an Earth Hero at night and on the weekends. She’s a keen nature lover, maybe this came from fulfilling the prophetic nature of getting her name? Her Chinese name is Lin, meaning forest or grove of trees. She believes that: if it’s good for Mother Earth, it’s good for you.

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    Cathy says:

    Hi there, im so guilty of kitchen throw-aways. Whenever im in the supermarket I usually get stuff which I do not need and it ends up spoiling in my refrigerator. I dont have a daily meal plan I think I needed help with kitchen management.

    1. Like you, many people need help with managing their kitchens. that’s why apps that help you you in the kitchen, like KitchenPal is such a lifesaver

  2. I love this article. It made me more conscious of the food that goes to waste and the multitude of apps out there that helps us to manage food waste and helps us save the Earth and our pocket.

  3. Great suggestions! Especially since the effect of food waste on the environment is often overlooked. Will definitely try some of the apps thats available in my country and do my part in saving the environmet

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