Don't Hate -- Masticate

Eat Someone Else’s Old Food With This Handy New App

One man's trash is another man's dinner?
Break me off a piece of that. (Photo: Wikipedia.com)

Break me off a piece of that. (Photo: Wikipedia.com)

If you can afford a smartphone, you can afford meals. At least that’s what we thought until we learned of the forthcoming Leftover Swap app, which enables users to barter their old food.

It’s the kind of thing that could work on college campuses — but like pledging a fraternity or chugging Everclear, just because college students do it doesn’t make it right.

From NPR:

The basic gist is this: Let’s say you have some leftover pizza. Snap a photo of it and post it to the app’s database. Strangers in the same geographic market then have an option of trading you for the food — or just taking it off your hands.

Co-founder Dan Newman acknowledges that the app is “not for everyone,” but insists that some people “love the idea,” according to NPR.

The founders’ motives are pure — they want to help decrease the outrageous amount of perfectly good food that gets trashed every day, Mr. Newman says. And hey, maybe most of the offerings will consist of stuff that hasn’t been sullied by another person’s fork.

Still, the app could face an Uber-like crackdown, as it’s illegal to sell food to the public without a permit in places like San Francisco, NPR reports. But the founders maintain that they aren’t selling anything, they’re merely trading it or giving it away.

NPR reports that Mr. Newman’s message to haters (a.k.a. people who don’t want to contract plague through someone else’s old rice pudding) is:

 “People seem to have a huge lack of trust in their fellow man, thinking that leftovers would be diseased somehow. It goes back to the couch-surfing thing. You’re staying at a random person’s place and you have to trust they aren’t going to do something weird. It’s the same with leftovers.”

Except for how people don’t stick slimy, saliva-drenched forks in and out of their couches, and couches are non-perishable, and people don’t usually lick couches — yeah, it’s totally the same thing, so just chill out, everyone.

Follow Molly Mulshine on Twitter or via RSS. mmulshine@observer.com