According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, about one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. That percentage amounts to approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food ending up in landfills. This insane amount of food wastage does not only enable contrasting levels of food security, it is significantly contributing to climate change. As explained by Flashfood Inc., the company behind the food waste diversion mobile platform Flashfood, food in the landfill is covered by other garbage resulting in it decomposing without access to oxygen. While the food rots, methane gas—a leading cause of greenhouse gases—is generated. National Geographic concluded in 2016 that if international food waste was to be a country, it would be the third leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions.
The Medium interviewed Jordan Amorim, manager of a Real Canadian Superstore which uses Flashfood, to discuss the utility of Flashfood.
To alleviate food wastage, individuals can use the app Flashfood. Flashfood “allows shoppers to receive major discounts on food items nearing their best before date, resulting in money saved and food waste reduced.” Amorim says that Flashfood reached out to him, and after conducting some research, he was “very pumped to work” with the company. He described Flashfood’s model as “a great opportunity to offer healthy food at a discount” while “mitigating food waste” at the same time.
According to Amorim, Flashfood has been highly successful at the Real Canadian Superstore location Amorim manages. “To date, we have diverted 19,508 lbs of food from going to the garbage at this location alone.” Shoppers have saved about forty thousand dollars by buying products through the Flashfood app at Real Canadian Superstore locations in Mississauga. Shoppers in Ontario have saved a million dollars by using Flashfood.
In terms of which types of food consumers can purchase through Flashfood, the products available include “fresh foods, produce, meats, bakery items, and dairy.” The app is available to everyone and is “super easy and convenient” to use. As Amorim details, “all you have to do is download the Flashfood app.” When you enable GPS, “you can see the stores near you and you can see which [food items] are available on the app.” You can select the items you are interested in, “come in to the store, show the customer service representative your phone, and you’re good to go.”
Amorim describes the Flashfood app as a “great diversion program, both from the retailer’s standpoint and from an environmental standpoint. [The app] also offers savings for people and families.” Overall, the store has had “a pretty successful” experience with Flashfood and Amorim is looking forward to continue partnering with the company and their app.