Food makes up the majority of waste that goes into our landfills in the U.S., and that waste contributes to greenhouse gases, says EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. Furthermore, when food is thrown out, we’re not just wasting the food. We also lose all the natural resources that went into producing the food — $700 billion worth, according to Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.The statistics are startling, and we need to address the problem from all angles.
PareUp is a new app that aims to connect consumers to restaurants and food shops with excess food. Before retailers throw away food, they alert PareUp users and offer the extra food at a discounted price. PareUp is a win-win for businesses and consumers alike. The businesses can make money off food they would otherwise have thrown away, and consumers can obtain food at cheaper prices. Of course it’s also a win for the environment.
PareUp on it’s website adds,
Supermarkets alone are throwing away $15 billion of produce a year, largely because of overstocked displays and aesthetic imperfections. Restaurants and households are responsible for almost 86 billion pounds of food waste. And in many of these cases, this food can still be eaten or used.
Retailers often toss food to protect their brands. Imperfectly shaped produce usually never makes it to the grocery floor. Items approaching their sell-by dates are often pulled off the shelves a couple days in advance. All this food is still fit to eat–in many cases, it’s still delicious.
On the other side of the equation, the quantities and types of excess that food banks can accept are often limited by their operational budgets and their food safety and transportation guidelines.