Around the globe about forty percent of produced food is ending up as food waste. FORTY PERCENT! And now remember that those also includes countries where hunger is a constant, regions where a famine hit. That raises numbers in western well industrialized countries like Germany and the U.S.A. Its hard to believe, right? Can we do something about it? Probably not when it comes to the global distribution. That is a whole other story. But living a more sustainable life and being more mindful about things is a start. In the light of my word of the year celebration one area I wanted to celebrate more was nature and what Mother Earth provides us. Today I want to share my experience with Too Good To Go – an app that helps battle food waste.
Too Good To Go is a global organization originally from Scandinavia that operates in 17 countries as of now including Canada, Germany and the United States.
The concept is rather simple. Through the app you can buy one of the magic bags from signed up shops, hotels, cafés and restaurants. The prize is usually a really good deal. All you have to do is choose, pay (through the app) and go pick up during the designated time frame. And most likely you end up with a great selection.
I have hear about the app before Corona though. My sister used to save a lot of sushi. Back then there was nothing really close by. But the network is growing. As of now I have only yet managed to save food at three times. But its better to only save food. when I am able to consume it. Often times I knew I was most likely not able and so I just did not get and leaving the magic bag for someone else.
The app calls it magic bags.And that’s what it is a bag full of surprise. You can’t really know what’s in it. Some shops have separated bags like fresh fruits and veggies and also one for baked goods. Other just have a single one and you will be surprised.
Lunch Magic Bag
My first experience was saving a little magic bag around lunch time. There is a cute little café that offers magic bags to be picked up around lunch time. So one day in July I finally had no meetings, no food at home and the weather was nice. And I actually managed to snatch one up. That was probably the hardest part.
The process itself was rather simple. Payment goes directly through the app. For this particular one I paid 2,50€. I was hoping for a wrap or some sandwich. Well, it was a surprise and I ended up with a piece of cake. So on my way home I stopped to get some summer rolls to eat beforehand.
Did I like the food – well I was expecting something savory. Was the experience still fun? yes. Would I go to that shop again? Probably. Was it good? Yes, but an unknown taste.
Magic Produce Bag
After having my first experience I was on the look out to try other shops. I saw that our local grocery store does offer some magic bags. As I mentioned earlier they have different categories like produce, refrigerated products and baked goods. Every time I looked it was always sold our or nothing was on offer. In generell a great things since no food is wasted but I had to patient. Then one morning I saw that they just updated and a produce bag was online. I snatched it up instantly and decided to go for a morning walk to pick it up before the first meeting.
Look at this bag! What do you think how much I paid for that? It was 4€. And while the parsley roots were a bit dried out everything else was just fine. It was easily 3 kg of veggies and fruits I saved here. The plums were really ripe and I wasn’t able to eat them all. I was thinking about cooking some sort of plum sauce with them but then dint get around to it. Everything else was just fine.
This was definitely a really good magic bag I saved.
Dinner Magic Bag
So gather those experiences I started to look for shops that I want to try. The food I like that maybe a bit expensive on a regular basis. And I realized that during my business trips there are lot of options close to the hotel I usually stay in. So during this week I was able to snatched up a magic bag for my dinner.
Total cost was 4,50€ and it included two sandwiches, one wrap and a whole bowl of rice. unfortunately since I wasn’t able to cook the rice was not the best option at this time but I would have loved it at home. I could have easily made a tomato soup with rice. One of my favorites if I have left over rice. So for that particular night I ate it without anything – which was ok as I had a minor migraine and plain rice is actually a food I enjoy then. So over all again a really good bag.
So I will continue to source more local shops, try delicious foods I would otherwise not get my hand on and work towards less food waste on the way. I have only one suggestion to improve the app. Filtering certain allergies and diet options would be nice for people eating vegetarian or gluten free and such things. My feeling though is that it will probably be rolled out sooner or later.
Have you ever hear of this company? And maybe even saved up some food already? I’d love to hear what you have to say. And if you have other ideas to battle food waste let me know.
Happy eating to you
P.S.: This article is not sponsored by Too Good To Go and purely my own opinion.
I have tried Too good to go before. The New York Times mentioned it in an article recently and I think it’s a great idea. There are only a handful of places close to where we live who offer it but I picked up something from a donuts shop and a bakery. The value and quality was well worth the price and now I always keep my eyes open. I hope it is going to expand some more.
Meike recently posted…Coming home
Oh that is so. great that you also have some experience. I hope it catches and many more companies join. I think it’s great concept.
Wow- this is fascinating. I had no idea this existed, but I do know that restaurants and stores throw away a TON of perfectly good food. This sounds like a win-win, if you’re willing to be adventurous. I would need that filter though because I’m vegan. I hope this becomes more well-known and widespread. Thanks for letting us know!
Jenny recently posted…Sometimes You’re Up….
Yes I guess this filter would help a lot. However it also puts more pressure on the restaurants because they need to organize food in categories and its probably a lot of work. Maybe you can find a vegan restaurant that does it – than no filter needed.
I have heard about this company on a podcast (By the Book) and it was interesting to hear the good and the bad about the process. Many restaurants are now using this service instead of donating to food banks or shelters, so it’s not as clear as all that to see if it really is stopping food waste. It does seem like quite an adventure, though, never knowing what will be in it when you pick it up!
Yes it is an adventure for sure. If you are not a picky eater defiantly worth it. I wonder – or at least in Germany I think – only unprepared food – can be donated to food banks.
Oh wow. I have never heard of this app before but I am SUPER-INTRIGUED because I really LOVE the concept. I’d definitely like to try this out. I already downloaded the app to see which places in the area offer it. Thanks so much for sharing your experience (and recommending the app!).
I hope you can find something in your area. The more it’s being used and asked for the more option there will be.
This is such a good concept! I am a really picky eater so I worry about getting something that I wouldn’t like, but this is a great service for people who have an adventurous palate, for sure.
Stephany recently posted…Week in the Life: Thursday, November 10, 2022
It sure is. Some grocery stores participate and a fruit bag might be an option.
I’ve neve heard of this – but our local grocery store has reduced items sections – bread, fruit , anything really can be reduced by up to 50%. We buy A LOT of things reduced. Brown bananas are perfect for muffins. Misshapen bell peppers are great for a soup. I LOVE getting a good deal and knowing that I’m helping to avoid food waste!
We have those reduced sections too. I try to buy from them if I know I am using it in the next 2 days. If not I try to stay away because I would add to the food waste.
What a great idea! I do wonder about the impact in the US on the food pantries – that’s what my grocery does. They also compost the truly rotten veggies when they can’t donate them. Every year or so they highlight how much they have donated and it’s astonishing. That said, they don’t have a reduced rack or section in produce or even – to my knowledge – the bakery. I would buy from there, so not sure why they haven’t done it? (The other store in my area does do this but the choices are so limited, I never find anything I want. :()
It sounds like your grocery is already doing a lot to reduce food waste. I also check the reduced items but I agree it is often a limited choice … which is actually great thinking about it. I think to-good-to ho is especially interesting. for prepared foods. Those at least in Germany can’t be donated.