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The creator of Ubifood wants to curb food waste.
All around the world, stores close for the day and toss unsold food into the trash. The creator of a new app wants to save those uneaten goods from the garbage and save consumers money in the process.
Caroline Pellegrini first experienced large-scale waste first-hand while spending a year working at a Montreal bakery, observing tons of perfectly edible cakes, cookies and breads tossed out because they were past peak freshness. Pellegrini spoke to friends at other restaurants and discovered that the waste problem went far beyond the bakery. "I felt heartbroken," she tells CBC News. "I thought there must be a more efficient way to deal with the problem."
Pellegrini's solution was an app, called Ubifood, which she launched in March with the intent of rescuing food from the landfill. Ubifood, which currently operates solely in Montreal, already has 5,000 customers signed up to cash in on their money-saving services. Users get access to sharp discounts—anywhere from 15 to 80 percent—on foods that are deemed to be past peak. Food businesses and grocers upload photos of the food up for grabs, and users can purchase the goods no the app and pick them up in person.
While Ubifood does take a cut of each sale, Pellegrini hopes her creation can help make a dent in the estimated $31 billion of food wasted every year in Canada. And Pellegrini isn't alone. Other app inventors, like Toronto's Josh Domingues, creator of Flashfood, have also created technology that connects food vendors with the people willing to take home goods that are past their peak.