New 'food sharing' apps are connecting the generous with the peckish, but could you get over the 'yuck' factor?
Until recently, the internet has been all ‘look but don’t touch’ when it comes to food. But a new wave of food sharing apps is challenging all that.
One of the first out the gate was US app Leftoverswap – developed in Seattle – which lets kind-hearted folk snap their leftovers and offer them up to peckish locals. Those who’ve signed up are then notified that there’s free grub up for grabs nearby.
“You’re hungry. And cheap. We understand,” says the website, before soberly pointing out that 40% of food produced goes to waste in the US (and yes, the story on this side of the pond is equally grim – with nearly half of all our food ending up in the bin).
Other apps doing their bit for food waste minimisation are Hungary’s Piqnic which allows keen cooks to divvy out portions of their meals to the hungry masses, Cookisto in Greece (also gaining followers in the UK) which connects community cooks with busy business types, and the Netherlands’ Shareyourmeal.
So, who would actually go in for something like this? ‘Dumpster raiders’ is one idea mooted by the Internet Community. ‘Freegans’ – that’s anti-consumerists who support the anti-waste cause to you and me – is another. Students is another one we'd throw into the hat.
“Some people are shocked and find the concept absolutely disgusting,” Leftoverswap’s co-fonder Dan Newman told the Guardian. But “once they realise they can grab a perfectly good box of mac and cheese from someone clearing out their cupboard … they’ll come around.”
And with over 10,000 users there’s clearly an appetite (sorry) for other people’s sloppy seconds.
Even without an app there are some fantastically tasty ways to deal with leftover food. Egg whites become meringues, sliced white is better as bread and butter pudding than it was when it was just bread, and the annual glut of turkey at Christmas makes for a mean jungle curry. What are your favourite leftover solutions?