MEAT FREE MONDAY | Food Traceability Apps


Yesterday, I took a quick trip to MOM's ORGANIC MARKET to get a few supplies for a pasta dish I was making, when my sister mockingly asked me "How do you know that all this stuff is really organic? It could all be a conspiracy!" I looked at her and said, "exactly, it all could be, which is why I tend to focus on seasonality and local farmers," but when in Rome, right? The problem, I told her, is that there is so much "greenwashing," which dilutes the very essence of what these terms were meant to mean. 
When we returned home, I was left wondering, why is it that so many of us put our trust in the word "organic" so easily?  So, being the curious Nancy that I am (and the idea of having a possible story to write about for the blog, obvs) I decided to search for organic food and its traceability. To my surprise there were many different reports, organisations and articles on this. Scrolling further down I saw a link for a Traceability App. What was that? An App that tells me where my food comes from? Tell me more...
As we become more involved in the foods we eat and where they come from, wouldn't it make sense to merge this sensibility with the one piece of technology that we carry with us everywhere? We're on our phones for much of the day, and have them within close proximity awake and asleep, we depend on them to keep us up to date with the world within and outside of our lives, and use it to document our experiences. Therefore, an APP that incorporates technology and our meal choices seems like a natural progression.
Unlike many of you, I do not have a mobile that can take on the task of housing an App, but my significant other does, so I have asked him to download a few of these apps, which I will be reviewing at a later date. For now, I was hoping that we could all embark on this journey together. Perhaps test the waters out in our respective locales as to whether these Apps really do help us to make healthier choices, and tell us whether or not we can keep putting our trust in the produce we are purchasing.
Hence, here is a list of Apps to guide us along [most of them seem to be US-based]. 

Trace your fresh food back to the farm to learn where, when, and how it was grown. Find out instantly if your fresh food is subject to recall. Scan the HarvestMark bar code or QR code on fruit, vegetables and poultry.

INBLOOM [US]: This Location-based App allows you to search for sustainable and healthy meals  from thousands of listings of restaurants, farmers markets, grocery stores, CSAs, green hotels, biodiesel and electric charging stations, green supply stores, clothing stores, and retail businesses powered by renewable energy. The app can be easily customized for your specific dietary and eco preferences, and will show you the nearest businesses that are Organic, Locavore, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Paleo friendly, Raw, and environmentally friendly. 

FOODUCATE: Fooducate's scientific algorithms grade each product and provide simple, concise explanations as to the dietary and health properties of each item when shopping. It uses a collaborative Grading system developed by scientists, dietitians and concerned parents for all your nutritional needs and concerns.

LOCAVORE: This App finds local, in-season food, pinpoints nearby farmers' markets & farms that sell the products you love and helps the avid home cook to use seasonal produce with a plethora of seasonal recipes. 
THE GOOD SHOPPING GUIDE ETHICAL SHOPPING APP: this app version gives full product sector comparison tables on famous brands and corporations in relation to their Environmental, Animal Welfare and Human Rights records.

: The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s App helps you to understand and identify more than 130 food additives when making decisions at the market. It also provides safety ratings on additives which poses to be helpful to individuals with certain food requirements.

There are many other Apps, such as Seafood Watch and Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide, which all help us to make better choices when sourcing our food. 

* Updated 04/12/12

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  1. Great article!

    Now, time to download some of these apps.

  2. Tell us what you think? HarvestMark came back to us and said that it works globally.

  3. Definitely a topic that's become more important especially since i'm breastfeeding. Started using Fooducate to help decipher product lables and discover healthier alternatives. Its supposed to help you make better choices at the supermarket, by giving foods a grade, it rewards minimally processed rich foods vs over processed and then fortified to look healthy foods, and offers healthier suggestions. Works by scanning the bar code so its convenient.

  4. Sacki,
    Thanks for such a brilliant review of Fooducate. I think this is an even more important topic to new mothers (I am going to add this app). We will be catering to our friends who are new and expecting mothers soon.

  5. Brilliant! App Downloading initiated now..

  6. Adaptive has an active and influential role Traceability in the standards community and works closely with the Object Management Group in addition to various other standards bodies across the globe.