Meet the Neighbors: Reduce Food Waste with App that Trades Leftovers

Forget borrowing a cup of sugar. The hip new way to meet your neighbors in 2013? Well, that comes from reducing food waste, thanks to the new smart phone app called LeftoverSwap.

Using the website and app, LeftoverSwap allows you to share, trade or give away your uneaten food. Got some uneaten pizza? A bunch of fruit about to turn? Simply snap a pic of the noms and post ’em to your profile. Folks within your immediate area who also have the app will offer to take the food off your hands.They might even offer you something in return.

“There’s a bunch of studies about how much more food we need to produce for the world population by 2050, and how fertilizers are less effective and our current rate of producing food isn’t going to suffice. Meanwhile, in the U.S. we produce so much more food than we consume and so much is going to waste,” LeftoverSwap co-founder Dan Newman told NPR.

Newman, along with Bryan Summersett came up with the idea while rooming together during college.

Food waste is a growing issue around the globe. CNN reports that food waste in the U.S. “exceeds 55 million tonnes per year, which produces life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of at least 133 million metric tonnes and costs $198 billion.” According to the LeftoverSwap website, 40 percent of food produced goes uneaten, with 16 percent of Americans struggling to afford to put healthy food.

As an added bonus, the site founders say LeftoverSwap is helpful in getting to know your immediate community; “25 percent of us don’t know our neighbors’ names,” says the website.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Jorge Quinteros