A Leftover Food-Sharing App, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

by Jennifer Wadsworth | November 13, 2013

LeftoverSwap provides a new way to ditch those Thanksgiving leftovers crowding the fridge.

LeftoverSwap provides a new way to ditch those Thanksgiving leftovers crowding the fridge.

LeftoverSwap, a food-sharing app designed to curb waste, has health officials worried that users might pass on less-than-sanitary leftovers.

Launched last month with the noble aim to feed the hungry and save the planet one un-wasted meal at a time, LeftoverSwap is like a Craigslist for food, to quote Gothamist. You know, for those who could afford a smartphone, but not a chicken wrap.

Using classified-type listings and social sharing capabilities, the network enables “conscientious eaters and spendthrifts alike to mutually benefit from each others’ quirks/laissez-faire attitude toward hygiene.”

Eating a stranger’s leftovers—what could possibly go wrong?

Founder Dan Newman designed the platform, which in beta allowed users to sell their gently used foodstuffs for a quick buck. Fearful of lawsuits, liability and citations, Newman eventually dropped money from the equation to render the transactions effectively untraceable.

Legally, that seems pretty wise. Sans money exchanged, the app is ostensibly nothing more than a donation service. Yet if people want to pay into a leftovers black market, as SF Weekly posits, no one can stop them.

Lawsuits, however, could trip up this re-gifting economy. The app doesn’t convey an advisory on how to handle food, which means it could be on the hook if someone contracts E. Coli or some spit-borne flu from a bit of half-gnawed-on short ribs.

 

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