Every day, delicious, perfectly edible food from your favorite Los Angeles restaurants, bakeries, cafes, markets, and more gets tossed — an average of 4,000 tons daily. Food waste is a rapidly growing problem here (and globally) and yet so many still suffer from food insecurity.
Now you can claim that unsold surplus food through Too Good To Go, a free mobile app that lets customers buy and collect surprise bags of food at one-third of the retail value directly from businesses.
Throughout its six years of operation, the app, founded by engineer Lucie Basch, has helped save over 160 million meals, the equivalent of more than 400,000 tons of CO2e. It's done so by helping more than 64 million users in 17 countries buy food at affordable prices. Now it's turning its attention to L.A., launching today on International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste.
Too Good To Go allows Angelenos to purchase surprise bags, which feature a mix of food items sold at one-third of their retail value. Alfred Coffee, Tartine Bakery, Lassen's Natural Food & Vitamins, Purgatory Pizza, Honeybee Burger, and several Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations are among the more than 300 L.A. stores that have signed on to reduce food waste.
Users can browse, reserve, and pay for a surprise bag through the app then stop by during the pick-up window to collect. The impact of Too Good To Go's launch in L.A. will be enormous: Buying a single Too Good To Go surprise bag is equivalent to saving the carbon footprint from charging a cellphone 442 times.
The content of each bag purchased through the Too Good To Go app varies. Depending on the store chosen, the bags can contain anything from ingredients like fresh produce or pantry items to ready-to-eat foods like tasty slices of pizza, pints of ice cream, or baked goods. Regardless, each bag always is one-third of the original price.
Too Good To Go's efforts to help the planet don't stop there. It's also teaming up with schools, businesses, and public affairs to shake up the food system, and make the world think differently about throwing away food. Learn more about its mission here.
Next time you're hungry, skip Postmates and explore a variety of surprise bags from top L.A. eateries by downloading the Too Good To Go app here. And if you're an L.A. business with unsold extra food, find out how you can sell it through the app here.