9 Techy Ways to Learn What’s Really in Your Food
Getting to know what’s in your food takes more than just looking at the listed ingredients. There’s a dictionary of important phrases and classifications your food can fall under that determine whether it’s the best quality grub. We’re talking USDA organic, local, non-gmo, farm-raised, ethically-raised… the list goes on. It can definitely make going grocery shopping feel more like doing a research project. Thankfully, there are some apps and gadgets out there to help. This week we’re going to give you nine ways to upgrade your healthy foodie life with tech so you can know what you’re eating and where it comes from.
1. Lapka: This is one of those gadgets that seems like it’s exclusive to science labs, but thankfully it’s not. The Lapka Organic can detect nitrates in raw produce that are an indication of synthetic, non-organic fertilizers. By measuring the conductivity of say, an eggplant, the Lapka can tell if your produce is giving off a dangerous amount of electricity. Crazy, right? It can even test your drinking water for fertilizer residue. It’s a gadget that’s holding those “organic” labels to their word.
2. Good Eggs: This service is like grocery shopping from all of the best farmers’ markets without having to actually go anywhere. Don’t get us wrong— we love farmers’ markets, but you can’t go wrong with online convenience for those weeks when your Sunday Funday has more fun than grocery shopping. When you order with Good Eggs, they source your produce from over 100 local farmers and foodmakers. Plus, they offer at-home delivery. Just like that. Right now, the service is available in San Francisco, LA, New Orleans and Brooklyn.
3. Harvest App: Sometimes the hardest part about shopping healthy is knowing what’s in season. This app is a super simple way to know what produce grows in your area and also how to pick it. No more being intimidated by various gourds or indistinct melons. The app also lets you know which produce is more prone to pesticides so you can decide when you should definitely go organic.
4. TellSpec: This gadget is like a magic wand for your food. Just wave it over what you’re about to eat and this little thing can detect what allergens, chemicals, calories and ingredients are in your food. Finally, you’re able to really understand what all of those ingredients on the label mean. The TellSpec works by beaming a laser at your food and sorting the photons into a spectrum — which basically means that it’s translating what’s in your food into categories us humans can understand. You can even track your caloric intake.
5. The Fridge App: After you’ve picked your produce with help from the Harvest app, The Fridge will help you keep all of those goodies from going to waste. When you go shopping, add your produce to the Fridge shopping list and it will tell you how long you have to eat the food before it goes bad. Even better, it picks up on trends, like if you’re always buying three apples a week but throwing away one. It’ll help you cut down on food waste, save money and not eat moldy fruit.
6. Ripe Near Me: This website is a great resource to see what people are growing at their own homes right in your neighborhood. Some people eats their fruits and veggies and other people will just give them away for free. Just enter your zip code and you can see what’s ripe in your area. You can even find access to public produce that’s up for grabs to anyone who’s passing by. This is a great way to not only eat local and organic, but to take a produce-guided tour of your neighborhood.
7. Prep Pad: Usually we associate food scales with super meticulous cooking, which we’re not that into, especially when we’re just whipping up our weeknight dinner. But the Prep Pad does way more than a scale, and you can use it with any food you’re preparing. Not only does the pad weigh your food, it also gives you a breakdown of carbs, protein, fats and other nutrients. Just enter your food (or its barcode) in the corresponding app, and after you put it on the scale it gives you a full breakdown. It can even sync with your Jawbone Up to help you stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
8. Berry Cart: Sure, eating healthy is good for your body and mind, but it’s not always good on your wallet. That’s what makes this app so appealing. Just scroll through Berry Cart for deals on organic, gluten-free or non-GMO foods in your area, and after you buy them, snap a pic of the receipt. Ready for the best part? They’ll pay you! Like, in real money. No more digging for coupons in line at the store — you can just cash out via PayPal or in gift cards. Also, in the app you can read up on ingredients and the backgrounds of certain foods. It’s keeping food companies honest and your cart full of only the best-made goodies.
9. Seedsheet: Okay, so this isn’t exactly a gadget, but it is a totally new and innovative way to know what’s in your food because you grow it yourself in the most convenient way possible. With the Seedsheet, you just order a sheet of whatever fruits and veggies you want in it. Then you’ll receive the sheet in the mail with the seed pods spaced appropriately and ready to go. All you need to do it throw it over some dirt and water it. The fabric even blocks weeds. The Seedsheet just got funding on Kickstarter and we can’t wait to find out what happens when we can grab one for our own backyards.
What are your tips and tricks for clean eating? Let us know in the comments!