An Instagram user has her followers intrigued with footage of the inexpensive meals she has gotten through a smartphone app meant to help reduce food waste in the restaurant industry.
In a recent post, Bex (@thankyou.thriftagain) showed off an app called Too Good to Go, an app that invites users to explore nearby restaurants and grocery stores that sell their leftover food at a reduced price.
Here’s how it works: At the end of each day, restaurants and grocery stores identify surplus food that they’ll give away at a smaller cost.
The food is placed in a “surprise bag” that customers reserve and purchase for a bargain without knowing what the bag will contain — it’s all about the luck of the draw.
While customers don’t get to choose what products they’ll receive, the surprise bags, which often contain hefty portions, typically cost between $4 and $6 dollars in the U.S.
“The food is based on your location, so I’ve been to a Chinese, Jamaican, Ethiopian, and fish & chips places so far,” Bex says in the video, showing off the many cheap, delicious meals she was able to secure through the service.
“I love @toogoodtogo.usa! I love picking stuff up from local groceries and bakeries,” one user commented.
“I use it too! It hasn’t failed me yet and it’s always a surprise,” another said.
Some users, however, lamented that the service either had not yet reached their city or that options seemed limited.
“Downloaded this a while ago but there weren’t any locations near me yet,” one user wrote. “I should check it again!”
“All I have are coffee shops,” wrote another.
According to Feeding America, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the U.S. annually. That equates to 130 billion meals and more than $408 billion in food thrown away each year.
When that food ends up in landfills, it rots and produces potent methane gas, a powerful contributor to the overheating of our planet.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that about 6% to 8% of all human-caused greenhouse gas pollution could be reduced if we stopped wasting food.
By diverting perfectly good food from landfills and serving it to hungry customers at a discount, Too Good to Go is lessening the amount of food in landfills, all while supporting local businesses and residents.
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