No longer will you need to climb in a dumpster to salvage some perfectly edible (though technically past their expiration date) foodstuffs that have been prematurely discarded. Thanks to a forthcoming app called Leftover Swap, you can search for unwanted food on a central database where users can post images of their leftovers.
It's helpful for those on the other end of the transaction, too. Say you make way too much spaghetti and don't want to eat it every night for the next week. Throw a picture of it on Leftover Swap and trade it to people in your general neighborhood, or just let them snag it for nothing.
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"You're hungry. And cheap. We understand," the app's website says. "Your cheap, local, and community-oriented meal is waiting."
It's sort of like a more efficient, less gross version of this Portlandia sketch:
The app's founders, former college roommates Dan Newman and Bryan Summersett, conceived the idea back in 2010, but shelved it until now. Unlike other tech programmers with aims of designing the next billion dollar app, the two say the impetus behind their creation was altruistic.
Americans tossed out 36 million tons of food in 2011 alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While Leftover Swap won't reroute all that waste, it could at least send some landfill-bound morsels onto plates instead.
One potential problem is that unlike other apps that help you dump inedible items like old clothes, the goods shared through Leftover Swap come with a potential health risk. San Francisco health officials think the app might not only be dangerous, but also illegal if people swap food for cash.
From the San Francisco Weekly:
Still, the app is expected to go live in August, and will be available for free.
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