It's an idea whose time has come: do you ever wonder what food-related businesses do with left- over food/meals at the end of a day? Well, now you have the opportunity to buy, at a substantial discount. It's food at a great price, and less waste for the landfill--a win, win.
Too Good To Go is a website and app that has been around for about six years, already helping almost 57 million people around the world save on food. Through 17 countries, some 153,000 cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, hotels (breakfast buffets, for example) and more are on board to the tune of almost 140 million meals saved.
The numbers are impressive, and why wouldn't they be? Businesses and the public are giving a big thumbs up to the idea of reducing food waste, (which impacts greenhouse gases) while also saving money. It's a no-brainer.
"We're building something big," said Sam Kashani, country manager (Canada) with Too Good To Go. "To make a real impact, we're working with people and businesses, schools/education and charitable partners. I call it the democratization of the fight against food waste--we all have a role."
Since launching in Canada in July, 2021, Too Good To Go has already helped more than 2,500 businesses save almost half a million meals. Now, this marketplace for surplus food is expanding into Edmonton (as of May 18), joining Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City and Calgary in the global movement against food waste.
The free-to-download app connects consumers with businesses who have surplus food at the end of each day. For the business, it's a way to monetize surplus food, sell more product and find new clients, while consumers get a 'surprise bag' of food/meals at a location and pickup time that is convenient for all. Local businesses already on board include Flirt Cupcakes, a north side supermarket, convenience stores and bakeries.
"Many local partners are already live on the app, with more added every day," said Kashani. "We love welcoming new partners to the fight against food waste. Whatever the business, we help recuperate costs and lower the carbon footprint--it's 100 per cent good for business and the planet.
For consumers, the app is the most direct way to get involved. It's a concrete, easy-to-use solution to make an environmental impact while saving money. And people are able to try new hot spots too."
Too Good To Go cites data that will stop and make anyone think: Globally, 15 per cent of all habitable land is used to produce food that people end up wasting. That equates to the surface area of 26 million West Edmonton malls. Think about this too: nationally, Canadians waste an average of $1,776 worth of food per year per family.
In their roadmap to less food waste, ReFED reported grain products constitute 19 per cent of food waste in our country. Kashani says leftover bread is one of the most commonly tossed out food items, and yet it's something that (with a little creativity), can be transformed into salad croutons, breadcrumbs, bread puddings and sweets like zero waste cookies (recipe at toogoodtogo.com).
Whether you're a business or consumer, see the website and download the app to get started.