Just when you thought the sharing economy couldn't get any hungrier, a new app is in the works that allows enterprising San Franciscans whose eyes are bigger than their stomachs to sell the food right off their plates.
In other words, you can gorge yourself at Mission Chinese Food and then turn the table scraps into digital dimes.
LeftoverSwap is the brainchild of Seattle entrepreneur Dan Newman. The Airbnb-style app will connect overzealous diners to hungry buyers within the same ZIP code. Selling your leftovers is simple, according to the website: Just snap a picture with your smartphone, name your price and arrange for a pickup.
Newman said he and a few friends conceived the idea a few years ago, on a night they ordered way too much pizza and couldn't fit the remaining portions in the fridge.
"We were like, 'We don't want to throw this out, and it would just be great to broadcast that we have extra pizza to share,'" Newman said.
The idea really started to take shape after Newman hosted a couch surfer in his apartment who self-identified as a "freegan" — meaning he only feasted from other people's plates, or from the spoils of dumpster dives.
"That was enough to spark initiative in me," Newman said.
Newman did some research and discovered that humans waste tons of food, up to 40 percent of what we produce, according to stats published on LeftoverSwap's website. While Whole Foods and other retailers make a concerted effort to donate their surpluses to local food banks, much of it still winds up rotting away or fattening an unwanted population of rodents and microorganisms.
Newman said he thought the most effective solution would be to use modern technology.
"Through increasing the efficiency of each plot of land dedicated to food production, we can reduce our intensive use of natural resources and reduce our expansion into sensitive environmental areas," he wrote on the website.