The Startups helping reduce food waste

'Waste not want not', a mantra for many. Something that is starting to be taken seriously in the food industry.

Around 3 million tonnes of food waste is produced per year in the UK by the hospitality, retail, and food manufacturing industry. We are not alone, it's happening throughout the continent.

Food waste contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions than air travel so it is a serious issue!

Because of this, there are more and more startups appearing with the aim to help reduce commercial food waste. 

Foodcloud is based in Ireland, this company partners food business with charities in their communities by using their app and warehouse hubs to donate unsold food items. 

They have a large chain of food suppliers, including McDonalds, Kelloggs, and Coca-cola so the big players are involved.

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Karma exists in 225 cities across Sweden, United Kingdom, and France. App users can gain access to unsold food from nearby restaurants, bars, and cafés.
Users can browse the local food available, order the food at half the original price and pick it up and take it away to enjoy.
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Too Good To Go help you find and rescue food from local stores so it gets eaten instead of thrown away. 
They say:
"We dream of a planet with no food waste, and every day we’re working on making that a reality. Our app is the most direct way for you to get involved - just download, log on, and get saving perfectly good, surplus food from your local stores. It’s always a surprise, at a great price, and an instant good deed for the planet. Download now."

Available in 9 different countries this app not only assists businesses to reduce waste but they are looking to help households as well by starting a movement to inspire all households to work against food waste. See their tips here on how to reduce food waste from your home. 

It is estimated that in the UK alone we throw away 10.5 million tonnes of food waste a year, most of it, ~7 million tonnes, is from household waste. Some of these startups have acknowledged this fact and are looking to help in this area as well, an example of which is Olio..

Olio runs an app which you can register on and connect with neighbours to swap surplus food rather than throwing it away.

Olio also benefits the local community by having 'Food Waste Hero's' who go to registered supermarkets, restaurants and schools to collect their surplus food and then redistribute it to their local community via the OLIO app for free! Yep, they're all round good guys.

One of the most recent startups to join the trend is Meal Tip.

Meal Tip helps households prevent food waste by providing the user a list of locally available, discounted foods nearing their expiry dates.
The user selects the food they like and then Meal Tip suggests recipes containing these items within a given budget.
This app not only prevents food waste by the householder but also helps the supermarket to ensure the products are sold before they are required to be thrown out.


With or without these apps we can all do our bit to help reduce food waste and the impact it has on our environment.

Most importantly, recycle your food waste, we all have it (yes we do! even if you are not the most adventurous of chefs.. think of the simple tea bags, eggs, etc). 
Make sure to use your food waste collection service (if offered). If they are offered and not used then they can become financially nonviable and your council might stop them.
If your council doesn’t offer a food waste collection, compost it at home to prevent your food waste from going to landfill.
There may be several reasons you may not be currently separating food waste and are just sending it to landfill. A separate food waste bin may smell, attract pests (vermin, maggots), look unsightly but all these things can be avoided with simple careful management. It may seem like extra effort to begin with but when considering the benefits to our environment it's definitely worthwhile.

*Title Photo by Eva Elijas from Pexels