New App Promises to Reduce Food Waste in US Cities

Illustration for article titled New App Promises to Reduce Food Waste in US Cities

A new app designed to help mitigate vast amounts of food waste in a kind of ingenious way will soon hit New York City, and is planned to springboard from there to other American metropolises.

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The app is called PareUp, and it's the brainchild of Margret Tung, Anuj Jhunjhunwala, and Jason Chen. As numerous studies have shown, we are really, really wasteful with food. PareUp's goal is to mitigate that by tracking surplus or expiring food being sold at a discount, then making app-users aware of it. The benefit from the situation thus works for all parties: people get to buy discounted food they weren't aware of, and retailers get to sell off food they'd otherwise just wind up throw away. The app itself, meanwhile, is free — its creators simply get a small percentage of any sale made using the app. Everyone wins.

The app's creators have been adamant that PareUp is in no way trying to compete with food banks or non-profits — the goal is simply to make use of the leftover food those types of organizations can't get to or make use of. They've even said they plan to make a version of the app specifically FOR food banks and nonprofits to make it easier for them to access food donations. Based on the fact that this seems to be a win-win for literally everyone involved, it's hard to see how this isn't an overwhelmingly good thing, but I'm sure someone in the comments will still do their best to try and ruin it.

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Also, I am so goddamn disappointed the plural of "metropolis" didn't turn out to be "metropoli." You guys have no idea.

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DISCUSSION

What really grinds my gears is the use of the word "expired". In Canada and England, they use a system of sell by/use by. From what I've seen in the USA, there's only an expiration date that has nothing to do with food safety for most products, but quality or freshness guarantees. Pretty sure that bag or Doritos won't kill you the day after the date on the bag passes (any more than the additives already would). By using the word "expired" a lot of people instantly believe it's unsafe, when in most cases, unless you're talking medications or baby formula, it has no connection to food safety.