200 Million Meals Have Been Diverted From Landfills via Too Good to Go (Updates)

Lizzy Rosenberg - Author

Mar. 16 2023, Updated 3:51 p.m. ET

Too Good To Go
Source: Too Good to Go

The restaurant industry has started taking a stand against climate change by offering more plant-based items, and by locally sourcing their ingredients; but one thing that's difficult to combat is food waste. Restaurants often toss whatever they don't use, including items that are no longer deemed "fresh," despite being safe to eat.

To combat this, an app geared towards fighting food waste called Too Good To Go lets customers buy surplus food items for a reduced price.

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After less than three years since the app went live, Too Good To Go has saved over 200 million meals from being tossed in the trash. According to a press release, that's equal to about 500 tons of CO2. With more than 70 million registered users and over 130,000 associated businesses, it's ever-growing and continuing to make a difference.

too good to go
Source: Too Good To Go
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Here's how Too Good To Go works:

Too Good To Go made its U.S. debut in New York City in 2020, for iOS and Android, to combat restaurant food waste. Too Good To Go is a smartphone app that connects restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and even grocery retailers to nearby residents who can "save" meals by purchasing items that would be thrown out for about a third of the regular price, as per the press release. Each customer receives "Surprise Bags" filled with an assortment of goodies, grocery items, and more.

There are different sections on the app for users to receive different types of food, including: "Baked Goods," "Meals," "Groceries," and "Pick Up For Dinner." There's even a "Vegetarian Surprise Bags" section, for any and all meatless and users on the app to save a few plant-based meals and ingredients from premature disposal.

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In the app, there's also an option for customers with a little extra cash to donate to those in need. In New York and Boston, the app partnered with Rethink Food and The Greater Boston Food bank, to support food-insecure communities. A little goes a long way, so it's an incredible cause, to say the least.

vegetarian too good to go
Source: Too Good to Go
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This is revolutionary for cities worldwide.

In New York alone, there are hundreds of restaurants on the app, including hot spots such as Ladurée, Tartinery, Breads Bakery, Black Seed Bagel, Stumptown Coffee, and Prince Street Pizza. On average, New York wastes 1.31 million tons of food every year, though 86 percent of residents want to help combat the problem. The app also launched in Boston in early October 2020, and has expanded to cities around the world.

"Our model has been to bring the Too Good To Go solution to some of the biggest cities in the world, helping inspire and empower large communities to take action swiftly. The team has set its aspirations high by picking NYC because the opportunity to make an impact is so great. We're excited to show people it's an easy, fun, and delicious way to start making a positive impact now," co-founder Lucie Basch stated after its launch.

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what is too good to go
Source: Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go is continuing to expand, and it's becoming a worldwide food saver.

Too Good To Go is a total game-changer for those who want to save a little cash — as well as the planet — at the same time. It's available in several countries across the globe, including Italy, Spain, the U.K., and France. In September 2020, it surpassed 25 million downloads, and that number has only increased.

"While climate change issues often feel overwhelming, this is an immediate win for restaurants, consumers, and the environment that can make an impact right away," said Gaeleen Quinn, Too Good To Go's East Coast Director.

This article has been updated.

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