Today, my dear readers, I have another example of how living a sustainable lifestyle does not have to be expensive. It’s such a shame that people think that a sustainable lifestyle is expensive. The example I am sharing today is about food. Rescuing food. If you rescue food you can get food at a really low price. You can go dumpster diving or go to the local market at the end of the day. However, you need to be bold enough to do these things. Today I am sharing a really simple way to rescue food: Too Good To Go.
The term sustainable is one that usually triggers a lot of misconceptions. And that’s why I want to fresh it up a little today. People usually think that any local food is best, for example having a cow in your own backyard. This is not true. They also think that little plastics is most important, which also is not the case. There’s a top 5 of most sustainable food choices based on scientific research. I wrote a post about that too, you can read here how to make sustainable food choices. But to sum it up: whatever you do, eating vegan is always most sustainable. The second most important point is rescuing food. And that’s where Too Good to Go comes in.
Too Good to Go
Too Good to Go is simply an app that connects businesses with leftover food and consumers who want to rescue food. It’s a free app. When you download the app you can set your location and then the app shows you which businesses offer food to rescue on the map. Whenever you visit the app you’ll see the list of businesses who offer food. Some specific times there is more food offered than at other times. This depends on whenever the shop is closing or is making an inventory of what food they have leftover. I personally check the app at 19:15, that’s when Lidl offers their food.
Prices and Preferences
All the food that can be bought via the app is leftover food. Food that stores can’t sell no more. And so, you can buy it on the day it will expire or a little while before. And since it’s all food that is about to expire it’s offered for very small prices. This differs per store but I have only had good experiences price-wise. The app also allows you to set dietary preferences like vegan or vegetarian. This is important because as I said, the most important thing to do when you want to eat sustainable is to eat vegan.
I usually set it at vegetarian because I know which specific stores use the term vegetarian but offer vegan food (it’s a little confusing but some people just don’t seem to know the difference between vegan and vegetarian). Anyhow, I never rescue meat. I have done that in the past because I wanted to try a few stores. Right now I only buy at Lidl because I am most happy with their packages. It’s only fruit and vegetables.
Too Good to Go at Lidl
Since Lidl offers Too Good to Go packages with only fruits and vegetables, I always order at Lidl. It’s vegan and I am trying to eat a whole foods vegan diet, so fresh fruit and vegetables are always good. In the past I also ordered at Albert Heijn for example, but that was barely anything fresh or vegan. Mostly cookies and croissants. That’s why I would recommend the packages from Lidl. They sell for only 2,99 euros! It’s such a win. You save food, you save money and get fresh, vegan food! Every time you buy a package it’s a surprise what’s in there, you can’t choose. It’s the food that is almost past the date so that’s different every time. Here’s an example of one box I saved at Lidl:
Amazing right? Here’s what was inside: broccoli, blue berries, banana’s, a lemon, lettuce, green beans, sugar snaps, cucumbers, samphire, spring onions, carrots, potatoes, paprika and eggplant! All this food which we can save for just 2,99 euros! You do have to plan well because all the food needs to be eaten within approximately the next week. The food will go beyond the expiration date but that’s fine.
My experience with rescuing food with Too Good to Go is that the food lasts long beyond that date if you store it right. Another disadvantage is that you can’t choose yourself what you’ll eat. It’s a surprise each time and so if you really want to eat a specific meal that certain day you usually can’t because you have to eat the food that is in the box. But you can always make anything you want from the things that are inside. If there are mushrooms inside for example, you could make pasta, risotto, curry, anything!
Update 2023: Privileges and cooperatives
Here’s an update in 2023, because I changed my mind about Too Good to Go. When it comes to restaurants, I would really recommend the app to people who want to make sustainable choices! Too Good To Go is easy to use, cheap and it helps you to eat very sustainable. But for supermarkets I would not recommend it. That’s because I recently wrote this post about food cooperatives. Read that post if you want my elaborate view, but here’s the summary: I came to the realization that we need another food system for our groceries. A food system with cooperatives. And supermarkets that are on Too Good To Go are not cooperatives. That’s why, if you have the resources, you should not support them but do your groceries at cooperatives instead.
Did you already know that you could be rescuing food with Too Good To Go?