Would You Eat Someone Else’s Leftovers?

The Lempert Report
September 21, 2018

Olio is a new app designed to help leftover food get to hungry people instead of winding up in the trash or a landfill.

It’s a simple yet ingenious idea, and certainly is dependent on “Food Waste Heroes” (an Olio job title) who distribute food to everyone from young adults to the elderly. One participant points out, “I’m a student; this way I get free food.” The Olio website points out that “between 33-50 percent of all food produced globally is never eaten, and the value of this wasted food is worth over $1 trillion… Food waste is a massive market inefficiency, the kind of which does not persist in other industries.”

The project began in 2015, and is now the world’s largest food-sharing organization, with 450,000 participants. Although still run from a small apartment  in London, it is used in 32 countries, with half-a-million food items distributed via the app already. Olio’s founders also discovered that a third of app users fall under the poverty line, making the project even more vital. It’s a great idea that should be reproduced in as many countries as possible, particularly a waste-heavy nation like the U.S.