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First World Problem: iPhone App for the Poor

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First World Problem: iPhone App for the Poor

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Old 07-20-15, 01:46 PM
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Unhappy First World Problem: iPhone App for the Poor

HOUSTON - (via Channel 2 News, August 2014)

Two University of Michigan graduates believe they can help the nation waste less food with a new smartphone app.

LeftoverSwap is free and available for apple devices. It connects neighbors and helps them exchange their leftover food. Creators Bryan Summersett and Dan Newman came up with the idea one night after ordering too much pizza.

Here's how it works. Download the app, take a picture of your food, and post it. Hungry people nearby can look at that picture and offer to swing by and pick it up.

LeftoverSwap is not yet available for Android.
Wonder if they ever figured out that unfortunates who have to dumpster dive for their dinner probably don't have iPhones?
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Old 07-20-15, 03:21 PM
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Neighborhood cookouts would be amazing, until the poor moochers that contribute nothing come. Somewhat like the poor.
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Old 07-20-15, 03:51 PM
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Speaking of those struggling. Friday we came off the freeway to a "homeless- please help" cardboard sign being held by a 30'ish white male. I quizzed the Mrs. what's wrong with this picture? She didn't see it, I pointed to her that he's got an ear bud in his ear. MP3 player or what not, he's got a cell contract/prepaid. If so, where is he charging the phone. He's pretty clean cut, no facial hair, not sun burned nor dirty.

Imagine what images of America this type would bring. Even those who cannot eat have an Apple cell phone. The third world counties will really find the US amusing.
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Old 07-20-15, 04:10 PM
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bagwell
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Creators Bryan Summersett and Dan Newman came up with the idea one night after ordering too much pizza.
how dumb, you can NEVER order too much pizza!!!!!
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Old 07-20-15, 05:07 PM
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Well even though people who really live on the streets dont have the means to utilize such an app, it is still a good idea. Any wasted food would be bad, at least this is going to go to someone's stomach, no matter how rich or poor.
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Old 07-20-15, 06:02 PM
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LeftoverSwap
This is actually kind of clever but in all honesty I love my leftovers. None to swap
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Old 07-21-15, 05:41 AM
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Or how about put it in the fridge for the next day? Wow there is a novel concept, maybe they need an app for that too

Though biggest food waste in this nation comes from grocery stores and restaurants. It's absolutely disgusting how much food goes to waste there. Our local grocery store, Publix, throws away good chicken every night (which can easily last 3-5 more days in the fridge), because at one point they would give it away, but someone, somewhere, got food poisoning and blamed them. As far as restaurants, it's an eye opener how much people throw food away.
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Old 07-21-15, 06:03 AM
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i have this image of a hoard of 'walking dead' showing up at a nice home in a nice neighborhood.
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Old 07-21-15, 07:13 AM
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Talk about recycling your groceries, this morning I'm enjoying a bagel of undetermined vintage that got lost behind the bread, English muffins, and assorted baked goods in the breadbox. Hard? I think you could have driven nails with it. Then I recalled trying one of those obscure "life hacks" . . . well, nothing to lose . . . . After inspecting for mold, I wrapped the thing in a damp paper towel, sealed it in a plastic bag, and nuked it for about 20 sec (YMMV). It emerged if not bakery-fresh as claimed, at least drastically improved.

I've found that dishes prepared in massive quantities DO improve in the 'fridge - particularly garlicky or spicy selections that can benefit from a little time to marinate. Sometimes the difference can be dramatic - chili, for example becomes an entirely different concoction of flavors after a few days in the 'fridge . . . both are good, the freshly-prepared has a bit more bite and more distinctive elements, while the "aged" leftovers become smooth and more mellow with a couple days to blend. Same thing for spaghetti sauce, gumbo, chicken 'n dumplings, or anything prepared in bulk and portioned out over several days. Just separate into Corningware dishes that can go into the freezer and later be microwaved. There you have individual portions for family meals for days.

I've met two outstanding cooks over the years, one a working mom who grew up in a boardinghouse and never learned to cook for fewer than a dozen people at a time, and the other a Navy cook who worked at the American Embassy in New Delhi. Both needed to have impromptu meals at the ready to meet changing schedules and inconsistent mealtimes. Spend the day preparing an enormous quantity of a favorite dish, then serve for the next meal while putting away the "leftovers" in the freezer, in portion-sized containers. Presto! Fine dining for the whole family for a week - on their schedule. It saves time and tastes so good you hate to call 'em leftovers.
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Old 07-21-15, 09:49 AM
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There are plenty of charitable food organizations that will take the still edible foods and distribute them. The commercial shops have likely been approached to donate to these types of non profit organizations. Foods that were on a customers table are trash bin unfortunately. That excessive wastage is a learned process because of the abundance of food that is made available or portioned in those amounts. Far to many diners don't even ask for a take home box.

Anyway...several food establishments I know donate unsold product to these organizations for distribution. They are picked up every other day after hours. The local senior centers are also on these lists though by their policy past date goods are not accepted. At the micro level of food donations, it seems "nice", to me this opens up liability problems.
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Old 07-21-15, 03:41 PM
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America does throw away a lot of good food every day. There is an athlete who survives only from foods he get from dumpster diving it's crazy he can eat that well just from trash.

http://www.nbc.com/american-ninja-wa...166#vc157166=1
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Old 07-22-15, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jewcano View Post
Or how about put it in the fridge for the next day? Wow there is a novel concept, maybe they need an app for that too
oddly some people like me that dont like many leftovers. theres very few things i'll eat reheated. not saying i just throw my leftover out, i just portion my meals a bit smaller to avoid leftovers
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Old 07-22-15, 10:31 AM
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It's amazing what people will throw away - especially grocery stores that toss products that aren't selling. They may have a "sell by" date 18 months away, but if they're not moving, the stores sell them off in bulk from their warehouses - they're not worth the shelf space they occupy in a high-turnover grocery.

A couple of years ago, my neighbor turned me onto what I call our "scratch and dent grocer", Capital Sales, and we've had some interesting experiences there. They can't sell spoiled or over-date foods, and do a pretty good job of culling the shelves for leaking cans or packages - but you should still inspect your selections carefully for bulging cans or leaking lids, torn boxes, or "sell by" dates that may be due in a week or two. Most of the time that doesn't matter. The USDA requires foodstuffs to be stamped with a freshness date less than two years away. Clearly, many items will survive much longer on the shelf - like dry beans, rice, and most canned goods - IF the packaging is still intact.

OK, you save about 60% or so on most items in these stores - dented cans can't be sold in the big groceries, so they sell them off to "salvage stores" cheap. Cans of corn or green beans taste the same with or without the little dent in the side. But these are few - most of the items on the salvage store shelves are odd lots - quantities less than a full pallet or things that are slow movers on the shelves the grocers sell off wholesale. "Seasonal" items wind up in salvage stores - particularly things like Halloween or Easter candy - even after they've gone through the "discount" bin in the retail store, they'll turn up as salvage a few weeks later. "Christmas" cakes generally show up around Easter. You don't have to be too picky about the Holiday you're celebrating - especially at 60% off.

If you check the shelves in a salvage store carefully, you'll find a lot of "gourmet" items that just didn't sell - and more often than not it's a marketing problem rather than taste. Several local restaurants started selling their popular items in canned or frozen form - at premium prices. Most of them are really good, but they can't support the premium price they're asking - especially when they're alongside standard products on the shelves. Sometimes the packaging is just unattractive. Or you don't expect a popular restaurant's tortilla soup to be sold alongside Campbell's - at four times the price. At salvage, they are not only competitively priced, but far better than the "usual" brands.

Some items you buy in bulk - my wife once grabbed 40 big cans of Fritos bean dip, from which we made a number of dishes - including x-refried beans by adding a couple of cans to our standard refries. Cost was about 40 each. Of course we had dip for six months, even taking several cans to parties. My best find was a 36-pack of commercial hot dogs. The package is not identified by manufacturer - evidently that's on the crate that holds these big plastic bags - but I couldn't haul that monster out of the freezer to read it. I recognized them immediately as the big super-premium dogs served at a popular casual eatery. They were outstanding! And at about 13 ea., they're super cheap, the whole package of 3 dozen going for about the price of a single hot dog in the restaurant. You can dress it up at home just like they do in the restaurant and congratulate yourself on having a nice lunch for less than a quarter of the retail price.

The only drawback to shopping at these salvage stores is that you don't always find the same items every time you visit. If you find something you love, you have to keep going back - since restocking the shelves is based on what's available from the grocery outlets. One day you might buy a gallon jar of nacho sliced jalapenos ($4.99), or bags (12 cups ea.) of Seattle's Best, Kona, or Gevalia coffee - for 33. Frozen pizza (Totinos, Red Baron) really doesn't get a whole lot worse, even when you pay 99 for it. It's kind of a fun expedition, bargain hunting among unusual foods (quite a few European or Latin American) that you'd never try otherwise. You need to know your store prices though. My wife is a walking calculator who knows the price of just about everything in our local Kroger. Some of our "bargain" store's foods aren't. Popular items like Kraft Mac and Cheese is a good bit cheaper at Kroger or Costco.

Once upon a time there were "day old" bread stores all over, but today these are usually located next door to the bakery, where they take to overage from the days run after filling their orders. You get bread that's probably fresher than what's on the supermarket shelves - usually at half price. But, many of the big stores now offer "house brands" that can compete successfully with the big bakeries - and their products are often as good and fresh as the national brands. Stay away from the sweets though - they're usually discounted only about a couple of percent unless they're seasonal. Yes, Twinkies will probably survive the apocalypse, if their shelf life in your local market is any indication - there's no difference between a "fresh" Twinkie and one that's a couple weeks old. I think they start out "old".

Why do all this careful shopping? For us it allows us the luxury of several unbudgeted "date nights" and daytrips - funded solely by the savings on our grocery tab. OK, so buying a whole lemon merangue pie in Giddings, several pounds of fresh-ground sausage from a market in Smithville, a carton of mason jars of homemade fig preserves in Friendswood, several pounds of fresh Gulf shrimp off the docks at Rockport, or a chicken fried steak the size of a saddle blanket in League City isn't exactly economical, but it's entertaining and delicious.
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