Shared from original article in Chatelaine.
In an effort to reduce food waste, the apps connect buyers with vendors looking to unload good food that would otherwise be thrown away.
A shocking amount of restaurant food goes from today’s special to tonight’s trash, but two Canadian-made apps are looking to create a new stop along that path, in an effort to reduce food waste and to save savvy shoppers some dough.
About a third of all food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost each year. That works out to a shocking $31 billion worth of food trashedannually in Canada.
Enter Ubifood, an app developed by Montreal entrepreneur Caroline Pellegrini. It connects consumers with food vendors looking to sell leftover items for a discounted price at the end of each business day.
Pellegrini was inspired to create Ubifood while working in a bakery, where she witnessed just how much food was tossed by closing time.
Through the app, vendors upload photos of food they plan to throw out (but is still perfectly fine to eat) and users browse and pay for items online prior to pickup. Users can customize their search based on location and food preferences, and discounts can range from 15 to 80 percent (!) off the regular price.
Ubifood, which launched this past spring, has about 5,000 users and currently works with almost 40 vendors across Montreal, from high-end restaurants to cafés and fast food chains. The growing success of the app has inspired another food waste warrior to create something similar in Toronto. Josh Domingues’ Flashfood app will link restaurants and grocers with consumers looking for end-of-day deals. That app is set to launch sometime this month.
In an interview with CBC both Pelligrini and Domingues said that if their apps are successful, they’ll expand across the country.
Ubifood is available via the App Store and Google Play.
Shared from the original article on the David Suzuki Foundation website.
You’re eating local, organic, even growing your own food. Make sure you don’t end up throwing out the fruits and vegetables of your hard-earned labour!
Besides being a waste of money, time and energy, unused food that ends up in landfills is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases.
Download our handy tip sheet to help you out:
DOWNLOAD FIVE WAYS END FOOD WASTE
How to not waste food:
Meal plan: Take a few minutes to write out a week’s worth of dinners. Start with what’s already on hand. Think about how leftovers can play into lunches, snacks or other meals. Create a grocery list based on your plan.
If you prefer electronic help, there are loads of recipe websites — some even create the shopping list!
Buy the food you need now. Eat the food you planned. You’ll be rewarded with a clean conscience, a healthier planet and a fatter wallet.
Make soup: Veggies make delicious stew, mashed potatoes thicken any stock.
Freeze: Freezing food takes only takes a moment and extends the life of what isn’t getting eaten right away.
Donate: Swimming in leftovers or perishable garden produce? Bring it to your workplace, local food bank or check online to see which charities take food donations.
Create an “Eat-me-first” bin or basket for the fridge: This brilliant, simple tip comes from the Just Eat It movie:
It’s simple: See your food and eat your food! (That’s the whole reason you bought it, right?)
Five shopping tips
Pick the first one: This goes for things like dairy items. Don’t reach to the back. Grab from the front.
Pick the last one: Nobody likes to be picked last. Same goes for the lonely head of lettuce on display.
Pick the brown, spotted or crooked ones: Imperfect-looking produce wants to be tasted, not wasted.
Choose overripe produce, sometimes: See that pineapple? It’s going to be mouldy tomorrow. And it came all the way from Hawaii! It’s not organic or local but it’s dumpster-bound unless you buy it.
Choose single bananas: Grab a few single bananas next time instead of choosing a bunch.
Individual action has the power to make a measurable, meaningful difference. Just cutting household food waste in half would immediately save billions.
This article is re-blogged from CBC Marketplace. Please see the original article here.
Doughnuts and pastries. Stalks of still-crunchy celery. Bags of bright, plump oranges. It sounds like a shopping list, but it was all in Walmart's garbage.
CBC's Marketplace went through trash bins at two Walmart stores near Toronto to see how much food the company throws away.
Also in the garbage: bottles of water, frozen cherries that were still cold and tubs of margarine.
In many cases, however, the food was well before its best-before date and appeared to be fresh. Or, if it needed refrigeration or freezing, the food found was still cold.
Marketplace staff looked for food waste at all the major retailers, including Costco, Metro, Sobeys, Loblaws and Walmart. While staffers found bins full of food at some Walmart locations, other chains had compactors making it impossible to see what they throw out.
Marketplace found cartons of milk days ahead of their best-before date, and Parmesan cheese with months left before it needed to be thrown away.
On one trip, Marketplace staff found 12 waist-high bins full of food. After Walmart was contacted, it locked up the bins behind the stores where the food was found.
These bags of oranges were found in a Walmart Canada garbage bin on one of 12 trips to a Toronto-area store. (CBC)
Ali-Zain Mevawala says he threw out a shopping cart full of produce every day when he managed a Walmart produce and bakery department.
Mevawala, formerly with one of the company's Edmonton stores, says if a piece of fruit or vegetable didn't look perfect, it had to be thrown in the trash.
"I really felt bad because I know a lot of people in the city or in this country, even in this whole world, they don't even get to eat proper food."
'What's wrong with all those bags of oranges?'
Food waste is a worldwide issue. In Canada, a study from Value Chain Management International says across sectors, including at the farm, during processing, in retail stores, restaurants and in homes, $31 billion worth of food is wasted each year.
Retailers are responsible for about 10 per cent of that waste, according to the 2014 study.
Ali-Zain Mevawala says he threw out a shopping cart full of produce every day when working as a produce and bakery department manager at a Walmart store in Edmonton. (CBC)
One of the report's authors says retailers are just doing what buyers expect.
"Much of that waste is usually us not willing to buy products that have a blemish in them," says Martin Gooch, CEO of Value Chain Management International.
There are challenges in donating food, including location. It's easier to redistribute food in Toronto than in smaller communities, he says.
He adds that retailers are working to address in-store processes and training so waste is reduced.
Despite laws preventing companies that donate food from being prosecuted if someone gets sick, a key challenge is public opinion, should something happen, says Gooch.
CBC Marketplace went through trash bins at two Walmart stores near Toronto to see how much food the company throws away. (CBC)
"Someone who'd gotten sick from a product that was donated, that would create a whole bunch of attention … which a retailer or manufacturer has no way of combating."
After viewing Marketplace footage, Gooch says the amount of food wastediscovered demonstrated there is "room for improvement."
"What's wrong with all those bags of oranges?" he said.
Gooch did say some of the items Marketplace uncovered, such as bagged salad, could be unsafe if they had passed their "use by" date.
Walmart declined an on-camera interview with Marketplace, but the company sent a statement that said it has many initiatives to decrease food waste throughout the company, including giving unsold food to food banks.
After Marketplace contacted Walmart, the company locked up the bins behind the stores where the food was found. (CBC)
"On some occasions, food which has not passed its best-before date is deemed unsafe for consumption," Walmart said in its statement. "As a rule we don't place fresh food items on display for sale if the quality is not acceptable."
Some of the products may have been returns, the company said.
Mevawala says he was given a different reason for the waste when he worked at Walmart.
"Once I asked my manager, 'Why do we have to just throw it away? Why can't we just, you know, give it away to some people that really need it?'" he says. "And the manager [said], 'If you just give it away to people, then why are they going to buy it from us?'"
Walmart Canada says Mevawala's claim doesn't reflect its approach to food waste.