Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New App Aims to Reduce Food Waste By Trading Leftovers With Strangers

Posted By on Wed, Jul 31, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Sometimes you just can't finish your pizza. | Jennifer Silverberg

Over at Gut Check, we often eat anything and everything, but sometimes, even we get full. So we box up our leftovers in some handy tupperware (or not -- there may or may not be a half-eaten Imo's pizza on our counter right now) and throw it in the fridge. But what is a food-lover to do when you just can't eat those leftovers before they go bad? Why, swap with a neighbor, of course!

See also: - Want Local Fresh Produce? There's an App for That - Our New and Improved App is Here! - St. Louisans Love Leftovers, Yet We're Still a Wasteful Lot

LeftoverSwap, designed by Dan Newman and Bryan Summersett, is the latest social-networking app, albeit one that claims to have a higher purpose: reducing food waste. A handy chart on the app's website shows that if you use LeftoverSwap, you can save the Northern Spotted Owl!

"That part obviously is not serious," Newman assures Gut Check, "but the fossil fuels and the food waste, that's true. The amount of fossil fuels that we use to farm all this extra food that we don't eat is a big waste -- that's all it is."

Newman and Summersett came up with the idea three years ago when they got a ton of pizza and couldn't fit the leftover slices in the refrigerator. "I swear, this story is true," Newman laughs. "We just joked around if there was some sort of website where you could post your leftovers and people could claim them. We laughed at it then, but now with everyone carrying around little GPS computers in their pockets, it's actually very feasible."

Basically, you can say you have leftovers or say you want leftovers, and see who's nearby. LeftoverSwap says 40 percent of our food goes to waste, and 25 percent of us don't know our neighbors' names. It also says that 99 percent of us don't need a second helping of beef lo mein. (Gut Check begs to differ, but we get the point.) The app is set to launch in August, pending approval from the Apple App Store, and all you need is two people in your area to start.

We have to wonder if this is really safe, or, on the other hand, if it can actually build community relations. You can sign up to be notified when the app is live here -- and let us know if you'll be using it!

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow her on Twitter.

Tags: ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation