Feature by Megan Dibben
The company Too Good To Go has recently become increasingly popular on many social media platforms, marketing itself as an ethical way to enjoy your favourite foods at a cheaper price. By offering ‘Magic Bags,’ which can be reserved the night before, the restaurant of choice will put together a bag of food which would have otherwise been wasted.
As a student on a limited budget, I felt inclined to try out Too Good To Go as it seemed like an affordable and ethical way to enjoy my favourite foods. I was surprised to find that there were way more options than I had anticipated. Many popular businesses in Cardiff have partnered with the company, including Starbucks, Tortilla, Chopstix, Yo Sushi and Barburrito.
The prices range between a very affordable £2-£5 so it was perfect as a trial run; I didn’t feel I was wasting my money if it all went wrong.
Before ordering, I did some research into the reasons why and how food waste has become such a big issue, how it affects our planet and why Too Good To Go feels so strongly about making a change. Studies show that food waste is one of the biggest problems, not only in the UK but in the world. According to a 2020 report from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, food waste is said to be one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, along with transportation, electricity, and businesses. Whilst it is not the top contributor, an article by Zurich claims that reducing food waste could potentially cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 10%. In the UK, there will be 9.5 million tonnes of food waste on average per year, with the average household wasting £470 a year on thrown away goods.
Of course, many people choose to combat food waste in everyday life; keeping leftovers, freezing food which is close to expiration, finding new ways to use up cupboard fillers, and more. This is where the app, Too Good To Go draws their ethos from- managing food waste and making it more appealing to the public for consumption. According to the data on the Too Good To Go website, over 23,000 companies have reduced their food waste since partnering with Too Good To Go which is an amazing figure.
After reading these statistics, I was shocked and felt even more inclined to support this cause despite however miniscule my contribution may have been. Not only is ordering from Too Good To Go the ethical decision in terms of saving otherwise wasted food, but it also forces you to step outside of your comfort zone and try foods you wouldn’t always consider giving a go. The magic bags are pre-packed and contain ‘mystery’ items, so it’s also a fun experiment for those looking to expand their taste buds. Of course, they offer meat and meat free options, but aside from that it is all a lucky dip!
I chose to reserve a magic bag from YoSushi because I absolutely love eating there, but I do find that it can be slightly overpriced. I was wary that I’m not a fan of all types of fish, but hoped that the experience might help me learn to enjoy a new type of sushi without feeling like I wasted any money. My bag was set to be picked up at 9pm, and I paid £3.50 for it. And I must say, for the price I paid, I was quite pleased with my bag. From what I had worked out the bag was worth over £10 – meaning I saved at least £6.50, if not more! In my bag, I got six of their avocado maki – one of my personal favourites. I also got twelve of their crunchy prawn rolls which I’d never tried. Whilst I was so excited to have been given my favourite roll, I was also intrigued to try the prawn roll as I’d never actually eaten prawns before!
Of course I enjoyed my avocado roll very much but sadly, it turns out that prawns are just not my thing. The only other downside with ordering sushi was that it was slightly lukewarm as it was late in the day. Any other sushi fans will know that chilled sushi is the best – especially with fish in it. As unfortunate as that is, I am pleased that I gave something new a go and the excitement of trying something different has definitely made me want to order another magic bag soon.
Overall, I was pleased with my experience and would definitely recommend it to students as a fun way to try new things, either with friends or on your own! It is also a fun way to support managing food waste, and to contribute (however small) to helping keep the earth happy!