I Tried An Anti-Food-Waste App For 2 Days & It's Like Gambling With Food

I only ate meals and snacks ordered on the app.🍎

Staff Writer
Too good to go app. Right: food ordered on an anti-food-waste app.

Too good to go app. Right: food ordered on an anti-food-waste app.

I hate seeing food go to waste. Perhaps it's because I've worked as a waitress in the past and I've seen huge amounts of food thrown out at the end of my shifts. So I was thrilled to discover anti-food-waste apps when I moved to Montreal, and recently, I did a little experiment: eating only food ordered on Too Good To Go for two days straight. Here's how it went.

First, what's Too Good To Go? This phone app allows cafés, restaurants, bakeries and grocery stores to sell their surplus food at a discounted price. So customers theoretically get a great deal, and Mother Earth benefits from less food waste. The trick is you never know what you'll get in your "magic bag."

On a Sunday evening, I ordered from two small grocery shops near my place: Kéto Épicerie and Marché Soupson. Both bags had to be collected the following day at specific times, costing only $4.99 each. I didn't have anything for breakfast on Monday so I was quite hungry when I took my lunch break and walked to the first location.

You can imagine my disappointment when the lady at the counter handed me two small packets of salty snacks and a piece of cheese. I had high hopes for a filling meal, but again I only paid a few dollars.

A magic bag ordered at Keto \u00c9picerie ($4.99). Right: a magic bag ordered at March\u00e9 Soupson ($4.99)A magic bag ordered at Keto Épicerie ($4.99). Right: a magic bag ordered at Marché Soupson ($4.99)Charlotte Hoareau | Instagram

I got much luckier at dinner. For the same price, I received six small salads, three wraps, one soup, a sandwich, a chocolate torsade and even a smoked sausage, all on the verge of expiring but still okay to eat.

There was so much food, my roommate and I both had enough for lunch the next days! Plus, I gave him all the meaty stuff since I'm a pescatarian, and selecting the "vegetarian" option on the app left me with no choices at all.

On Monday evening, I ordered another round of "magic bags" from a bakery and a restaurant, thinking that would be my guarantee for full meals instead of snacks. I felt confident about my order but the second day of my experiment also had its hurdles.

A magic bag ordered at Boulangerie Sandrine Caf\u00e9 ($5.99). Right: Pizza from San Gennaro. A magic bag ordered at Boulangerie Sandrine Café ($5.99). Right: Pizza from San Gennaro. Charlotte Hoareau | Instagram

On Tuesday I had to pick up both my bags after work but I ran out of time and missed the collection time at the restaurant. I wasn't able to get my money back so I lost $4.99 and was left with only pastries and cookies from Boulangerie Sandrine Café at dinner time. I decided to order another bag urgently and I got four slices of pizza for $7.99, but two had chorizo on top.

Overall, I love the concept behind Too Good To Go and the "magic bags" are so cheap it's totally worth trying. But it comes with inconveniences, such as weird collecting times, very limited options for vegetarians, few participating businesses depending on where you live, and of course, not knowing what you'll eat next.

I'll keep using anti-food-waste apps occasionally for the sake of our planet — when I'm in the mood for surprises — but I certainly wouldn't make it a lifestyle.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

Charlotte Hoareau
Staff Writer
Charlotte Hoareau is a Staff Writer for MTL Blog focused in things to do in Montreal and Montreal weather. She is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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