There is a whole new group of waste reduction programs including apps and websites designed to connect farmers, retailers, consumers, and charities with the mission of reducing food waste. They provide a way for surplus food to either be given away or sold at a reduced amount. These programs can also help you compost your food scraps as well.
Ugly Produce Delivery Services
Many fruits and vegetables are thrown away because they are not considered pretty enough to be sold in grocery stores. There are multiple home delivery services that will deliver “ugly” produce that may have otherwise gone unused.
“Healthy and delicious groceries for up to 30% less than the store, delivered to your door.”
Imperfect Produce offers customizable subscription boxes sourced directly from farms. They offer both conventional and organic produce. There are a variety of boxes available ranging from 7 lbs to 25 lbs. Conventional produce prices range from $11 to $27 and organic produce prices range from $15 to $43 plus a $4.99 delivery fee. Imperfect Produce is currently available on both the east and west coasts, in the Chicago area and Texas.
“Misfit produce delivered directly to you for up to 50% less than grocery store prices.”
Misfits Market offers subscription boxes sourced from organic produce farmers. They offer two box sizes, a 10 lbs box should serve two people for a week or a 20 lbs box that should serve 5 people for a week. The 10 lbs box is $23.75 and the 20 lbs box is $42.50 plus a $4.50 delivery fee. Misfits Market currently delivers to all zip codes in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Ohio, West Virginia, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.
“Delivering farm to doorstep fruits & veggies on a mission to end food waste & hunger!”
Hungry Harvest offers three different sized boxes of both conventional and organic produce. Their Mini box serves 1-2 people and is $15-$17 dollars for conventional and $24-$28 for organic. Their Full box serves 2-3 people and is $23-$27 dollars for conventional and $34-$40 for organic. Their Supper box serves 4-7 people and is $33-$35 dollars for conventional and $42-$50 for organic. The delivery fee for orders over $29.99 is $0. Hungry Harvest currently delivers in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia, Greater Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey, Northern Delaware, South Florida, The Triangle Area in North Carolina & the Detroit Metro Area.
If you would like to compost but don’t have the time or space you can sign up for a composting service that will pick up your food waste and compost it for you.
“Weekly doorstep collection service empowers those without space, time, or desire to manage their own composting system to still compost at home.
Compost now provides you with a clean bin, a compostable liner, and an airtight lid. You simply put all of your compostables into the bin and set the bin out on collection day. They also have the ability to compost meat and dairy which can be difficult to do at home. You can earn compost that they will deliver to your home or you can share it with a community garden or urban farm. For $29 a month they will provide you with one bin. For $35 a month they will provide you with two bins.
City Sponsored Composting
Many cities are also starting to provide their own composting services along with regular curbside garbage pickup. In 2013 the EPA documented 3,560 community composting programs. Check with your local government to find out if composting is available in your city. If none of the options above are available in your area you can also check with your local farmers market or community garden to see if they will accept compostable donations.
There is a new group of apps designed to make it easy for businesses and households to share unused food.
“Too Good To Go” is an app that uses a phone’s GPS to find discounted unsold food at local stores and restaurants. The food is usually about 50% cheaper than its original price. Currently, it is only available in a handful of European countries.
Olio allows not only businesses but also households to post photos and descriptions of excess food they would like to give away. Consumers can then browse what’s available and arrange a pick-up.
You can also donate unused food to your local food bank. Use the website Feeding America to find a food bank near you.
Ample Harvest connects gardeners with local food banks where they can donate their excess produce.