Leave it to an app to make dumpster-diving the chic new thing to do. Too Good To Go is a mobile app that lets you order leftover food that restaurants in your area would otherwise throw out, picking up otherwise neglected meals for super cheap prices. As someone who may have been known to frequent the back alley of Einstein Bros. awaiting giant garbage bags of day-old bagels, I'm intrigued by this prospect.
Here's how it works: Enter your zip code or allow the app to use your location each evening, and it will search nearby restaurants that have meals to offer. You browse through the list, select what you want and head out to collect your meal up to an hour before closing time. Meals costs are as little as £2 (that's $2.60 in today's post-Brexit world) and come in an environmentally-friendly sugarcane box.
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The bad news for budget-conscious foodies who aren't put off by the idea of leftover meals? This is a Europe-only app right now. A London-based team founded Too Good to Go in Denmark in 2015, and have since expanded to include six different countries in Europe and the UK. But the U.S. could certainly stand to follow suit with a service like this.
Too Good To Go's mission is to "save food, save money and save the planet" by reducing food waste, which contributes to harmful greenhouse gases. While the app is only available in Europe and the UK as of now, the same food waste problems exist in the U.S., on an even larger scale. According to the National Restaurant Association, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food was wasted from stores, restaurants and homes in 2010.
The app is currently available for iOS and Android, but users in Too Good to Go's markets can also use a website to order online. In the meantime, we'll just be over here in the States waiting to snag our day-old pastries.