This App Wants Oslo's Restaurants to Stop Wasting Food

A way to combat food waste
A way to combat food waste | Courtesy of Too Good to Go
Photo of Danai Christopoulou
26 January 2018

Fact: every year, one-third of the food being produced goes to waste. Also fact: every eighth person on the planet is suffering from hunger. Unable to reconcile these facts, a group of friends from Denmark came together in 2015 and created Too Good to Go; an app that helps save food, money and, ultimately, the planet. For two years now, they’ve been working with restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and hotels all over Norway (and in several other countries) to help combat food waste. Here’s how it all works.

Waste not, want not

Every food business, no matter how well organized, very often ends up throwing away food. There’s just no way to predict exactly how many portions of food people are going to buy or consume in a day. And throwing away food is not just ethically wrong, it’s also bad for the environmentjust think of all the resources and energy that went into making the food. But this is where Too Good to Go comes in: by “matching” leftover portions with people who’d rather buy them for a very cheap price; it’s a win-win for everyone.

This app wants to combat food waste | Courtesy of Too Good to Go

The companies that collaborate with Too Good to Go check their supplies when it’s near closing time (and, in the case of restaurants and hotels, in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner times). Then, they log into the system to see how many leftover “portions” they have, for a very reasonable price. For example, in the photo below we see what two portions from a hotel buffet look like. Can you imagine that food thrown into the trash instead?

This is what can be saved from just one breakfast served at a hotel | Courtesy of Too Good to Go

How the app works

Once you download Too Good to Go from the App Store or Google Play, you create an account and then log in. Once logged in, you can check which restaurants/eateries/supermarkets are currently offering portions and you can buy your portion of choice directly from the app. You get a receipt, which you then show to the business when you go to pick up your portion. More and more businesses have started working with Too Good to Go (from local bakeries and restaurants to big chains like Starbucks and Meny supermarkets), so you can be sure you’ll always have yummy choices.

The Too Good to Go app | Courtesy of Too Good to Go

The team is always happy to explain how real the issue is

Did you know that 60,000 bananas are being thrown away every day in Norway? Yeah, neither did we. It’s one thing to talk about food waste in an abstract way, and another to realize exactly how many people could have been fed—not to mention the carbon emissions wasted. Thankfully the team behind Too Good to Go is always sharing informative content in their Facebook page and also organizing events to raise awareness. In fact, this week they’re celebrating two years in Norway—so if you’re around Oslo on Thursday, February 1, 2018, you can join their event. And remember, every little thing helps.

The team is always happy to explain why what they’re doing matters | Courtesy of Too Good to Go

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