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Peer-To-Peer App Connects Hungry Strangers With Leftovers

Peer-to-peer network for those who have more than enough food to go around

Ross Brooks
Ross Brooks on August 9, 2013. @greenidealism

Whether it’s physical goods, digital wares or simple services – there’s probably a peer-to-peer network out there for it – now there’s even one for leftovers as well.

Leftover Swap is a smartphone app that makes it possible to barter or give away any leftovers you might have after a particularly big meal. While some people might recoil in disgust at the idea, it could be an excellent way to deal with the huge amounts food that Americans waste every year.

leftover-swap-app-2

The concept is simple, snap a photo of whatever it is you have leftover and post it to the app’s database. Strangers in the same geographic area then have an option of trading you for the food — or just taking it off your hands.

Co-founder Dan Newman knows it’s a strange idea, but he also knows it could work, according to what he told NPR, ”for as many people who seemingly have a problem with it, there’s people who love the idea.”

He thinks those that don’t have any faith in the idea are lacking trust in their fellow humans. Much like the idea of Couchsurfing, you have to be willing to show a little bit of faith in other people.

Newman and Bryan Summersett, a Seattle-based programmer, came up with the idea while attending the University of Michigan together three years ago.

While the pair don’t know how they’re going to make money off the idea, they’re more concerned with the environmental impact they could have right now. Especially as the US produces more food than it consumes, and the fact that current rates of food production around the world won’t be enough to feed everyone by 2050.

leftover-swap-app

Potential problems include regulations around “selling” food – which includes leftovers – in some states. Regardless, Newman is expanding his knowledge so he can meet this challenges when they arise.

Leftover Swap

Image via NPR and Seamepost.com

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