Awesome Anti-Food Waste App Finally Comes to the United States

Too Good To Go has launched in New York City and Boston, to start.

picking up a surprise bag
 Picking up a Surprise Bag.
Too Good To Go

Too Good To Go is an innovative app that connects people with nearby restaurants that have surplus food to sell. By entering a location on your phone, you can see what's available around you on a given day and what time you can pick it up. It ends up being a perfect way for businesses to continue making a profit and people to save money, not to mention the planet benefiting from reduced food waste

Gaeleen Quinn, the East Coast director of Too Good To Go, told Treehugger that the app has helped many food businesses to cope with the uncertainties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. She said, "Predicting food supply has been trickier throughout the pandemic. Restaurateurs can use our technology to adjust their supply in real time based on daily sales, and so app users can always see the number of Surprise Bags available."

At first I wondered if the surprise aspect would deter users, especially in this day and age of highly particular eating habits. (I don't know many people who "eat anything.") But then I figured that, for people whose priority is to reduce food waste and save money, and who are willing to go out of their way to pick it up, the contents likely don't matter as much as the principle. 

 Too Good To Go food pickup

 Store employee hands over a Surprise Bag. Too Good To Go


Quinn believes that Too Good To Go's arrival in the U.S. is timely. Food waste is excessive, with 40% of edible food getting thrown away every year across the country, and food waste making up 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.1 The average New York City household tosses 8.4 pounds of food per week, which adds up an enormous 1.3 million tons of food annually – enough to fill the Empire State Building 32 times over. 2According to a study commissioned by Too Good To Go, 86% of city residents want to do more to reduce their personal food waste.3

Too Good To Go says it wants to "show Americans how everyone can make a difference in the fight against food AND climate change, one Surprise Bag pick-up at a time." It's a great concept and one that I hope meets success on this side of the Atlantic. 

If you're in the New York or Boston regions, sign up and give it a try. Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Katherine Martinko, December 2020