Thailand’s first food rescue app is set to launch on July 1st, connecting Bangkok restaurants and cafes’ surplus food to consumers at a discounted price. Reducing Thailand’s food waste and its carbon footprint, one meal at a time!
Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is thrown away. That is about 1.3 billion tons of food lost or wasted every year globally. The resources needed to produce the food that becomes lost or wasted has a carbon footprint of about 3.3 billion tons of CO2. If food waste was a country, it’d be the third biggest global greenhouse gas emitter in the world.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘But I hardly ever throw away food!’. And this is often the case among those of us who are eco-conscious or frugal with our money. So what can we do to help reduce food waste outside of our own kitchens?
Most of the world’s food waste comes from supermarkets, hotels and restaurants who have an excess of food that they haven’t sold by the end of the day. To many who work in the industry, this food waste is just part of the business and there is no way around it. But many initiatives around the world are striving to change this and are coming up with innovative solutions to minimise this food waste, and redirect the food to eco-conscious consumers.
Lucky for Bangkokians, Thailand’s first food saving app, Yindii, will be launching on July 1st. Yindii will redirect high-quality surplus, delicious and perfectly edible food to consumers discounted by 50% or more. Yindii is starting in Bangkok, but aim to take over the world with their food rescuing app very soon!
High-quality food at over 50% off, whilst helping to reduce food waste and saving carbon emission and water? That’s a win win win in our book.
We interviewed Yindii’s founder Louis-Alban to get the inside scoop on how Yindii will work and how you can get involved.
“The first rule of the “Food Waste Fight Club” : talk about the “Food Waste Fight Club”.”
Why did you start Yindii?
“In 2018, I co-founded a non-for-profit consultancy company to help family-owned guesthouses and hotels in South East Asia. During this time, I started getting conscious that food was being wasted everyday after the breakfast buffet. I’m not talking about half-eaten plates leftover by guests… It made me feel sick because it was actually delicious edible food : fruits, croissants, cakes, etc. I remember telling myself “If that can help, I’ll buy that food for me” and the idea started growing in my head. After reading online about food waste, I realized that ONE THIRD of the food humans produce is never eaten and is one of the major causes of global warming. That was unacceptable to me. After a few months of thinking, we came up with the idea of a delicious food rescue app, Yindii.”
Is your background in the food sector and is this what inspired you to start Yindii?
“Bakeries, supermarkets or hotels have a high-quality food in excess. On the other hand, Thai people like trying out new places and love high discounts. There’s an incredible match here.”
“On the contrary, I had zero background in the food industry. That’s maybe why I could see it with fresh eyes. I come from a tech business background and always believed that mobile could change the world to make it a better place. Bakeries, supermarkets or hotels have high-quality food in excess. On the other hand, Thai people like trying out new places and love high discounts. There’s an incredible match here. We believe the food industry needs to be changed and it will start from the consumer demand. Anybody can have the new reflex of : “can I rescue a delicious meal first ?” instead of generating new food order on grab to be cooked generating potential waste.”
Can you tell us how Yindii will work when it launches?
“For every 3 meals rescued on Yindii, we estimate that you save 4.8 kg of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere. “
“Yindii is an app that connects eco-conscious customers with high-quality surplus from bakeries, restaurants and grocery stores at discounted price, up to 70% off. People can eat tasty food, save money and help the planet get better.
Everybody wins. People try out new dishes at discounted prices. Stores attract new eco-conscious customers and reduce waste. The planets get cleaner, one meal at a time. For every 3 meals rescued on Yindii, we estimate that you save 4.8 kg of CO2 to be released into the atmosphere.
A waiting list is open on our website and the first 100 subscribers will get additional discounts and free delivery. The beta version will be released in July.”
What are the biggest sources of food waste in Bangkok?
“According to the Pollution Control Department, 64% of 27 million tonnes of Thailand’s municipal waste is made up of food waste. Food waste and loss happens all along the food supply chain from harvesting, transporting, processing, cooking etc.
In Bangkok only 2% of the food waste collected is recycled. The rest of the 17 million tonnes of organic food waste material is buried at landfill sites with catastrophic environmental consequences. During the broken down process, it releases methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. They are greenhouse gases that contribute to “global warming”, as they absorb and reflect the infrared energy from the sun, trapping in heat.
The United Nations report that 8% of total human-caused annual greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste.”
What type of food will people be able to purchase on Yindii?
“This can range from fresh groceries from supermarkets that weren’t sold, premium pastries and bread that bakeries need to bake fresh everyday or buffet restaurants that refill quality food up to the last hour.
The food excess that we deal with here at Yindii is high-quality surplus, delicious and perfectly edible, that stores and restaurants have to throw out if they don’t sell it fast. Great hygienic food waiting for you to rescue them!”
How do people get involved?
“The first rule of the “Food Waste Fight Club” : talk about the “Food Waste Fight Club”.
We invite anybody that cares about the planet to subscribe to Yindii waiting list on https://www.yindii.co or follow us on instagram for updates. The 100 first subscribers will get special discounts and free delivery.
Share the love with friends, family and colleagues and talk to your local grocery stores or bakeries to join the initiative.”