Free app saves shoppers money on food while helping the environment at the same time

BOSTON — With inflation on the rise, just about everybody is looking for ways to save on food.

Many people also worry about climate change.

A free app, “Too Good to Go”, can help with both issues.

Tyler Simmons, an executive with the company, explained “The app is effectively a marketplace for selling surplus food. So, when a restaurant or a grocery store, any type of food business, has surplus food leftover at the end of the day that can’t get carried over to the next day, Too Good to Go actually facilitates the sale of those goods to consumers who have downloaded the app.”

Eataly in the Prudential Center is one of the local companies that offers food products on the app.

Their surprise bags go for either $7.99 or $11.99, but per the apps policy, will contain merchandise valued at three times those amounts.

Consumers know which store they’re buying from but don’t know what’s in the bag until after they’ve made the purchase.

“You might find some bread, some milk, some produce, cheese. All of the things that we offer here in the store,” said Ben Spiller, Executive Chef for Eataly Boston.

He said they might put in a product in a bag that was getting close to expiration but was still fresh, or an oddly shaped fruit or vegetable.

A Boston 25 News crew tried the app by going to Fuel, a coffee shop in Brighton.

We got three top notch pastries for just $4.00.

About a third of all food ends up getting wasted and that means it ends up in landfills and incinerators.

“That has a an incredibly negative impact on the environment,” said Simmons. “When food decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane which is far more negatively impactful on the then environment that CO2.

Simmons added that the app is having a positive effect in the Boston area.

“So, in Boston, we’ve already saved over 100,000 meals which is the equivalent in CO2 emissions of 50 flights around the world.”

270 establishments in the Boston area are now partnered with the app. A user can enter a community to search for those participants which means they’ll find popular chains like Panera and Cava as well as locally owned outfits.

It’s important to remember the actual contents of the bag will be a surprise.

You won’t find out what’s inside until after you’ve bought it.

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