Originally published on Intel IQ
Eating has become an increasingly mobile sport. We now consume a third of our calories (and spend half of our food dollars) away from home. At the same time, we’re a lot more interested in what’s in our food these days. Fortunately, information has become more mobile as well. Most of us now carry the World Wide Web—and with it, the sum total of human knowledge—in our pockets. Even better, mobile apps can filter and organize all of that information, making it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for, on the fly.
Want to know how many calories are in the popcorn at the movie theater? Wondering how sustainable the catch of the day is? Can’t remember how many pounds of tomatoes that gazpacho recipe calls for? Looking for a vegan restaurant near your aunt’s summer cottage? Rest assured: whatever you’re looking for, there’s an app for that.
I recently polled my Facebook followers about their favorite food-related mobile apps. Here’s a round-up of the some of the most popular responses, along with a few less familiar but useful recommendations.
Nutrition Info (Groceries)
- Fooducate. Search database or scan barcodes to access calories, ingredients, nutritional pros and cons, and overall “grade”
- Weight Watchers Barcode Scanner. Scan bar codes on packaged foods to get PointsPlus® values.
Nutrition Info (Restaurants)
Megan writes: “I used to eat a certain salad at Chili’s until I looked it up in my app and realized how many calories were in it!”
- Calorie King Food Search. Calorie information for fast-food and chain restaurants
- Stop N Go Guide. Color-coded guide to worst, better, and best options on fast food menus.
- Weight Watchers Mobile. Look up PointsPlus® values for restaurant menu items.
Other Concerns (sustainability, pesticides, additives, allergies, etc.)
- Chemical Maze. Look up latest research on food additives and cosmetic ingredients.
- EWG’s Shopper’s Guide. Lists fruits and vegetables with highest and lowest pesticide residues.
- Harvest to Hand. Find your local farmers market, pick-your-own, locally made products, and family-friendly farms.
- Perfect Produce. Learn how to choose, store, and prepare any fruit or vegetable. Great for ID’ing unfamiliar produce.
- Seafood Watch. Find out whether fish or sushi is sustainably raised and/or caught, levels of omega-3s, mercury, and other contaminants, and get recommendations for ocean-friendly vendors.
- ScanAvert. Alerts you when foods contain ingredients you are allergic to or that might interact with your medications.
Locate Restaurants (healthy, vegan, gluten-free, etc.)
- GlutenFreed. Find gluten-free dining.
- GoodFoodNearYou. Find healthy restaurants.
- iVegetarian. Find vegan and vegetarian restaurants.
- Urban Spoon. Restaurant reviews and recommendations, including vegetarian and gluten-free.
- Yelp. Restaurant reviews and recommendations, including vegetarian and gluten-free.
Mimi writes: “I bought an ice cream maker at Costco today and looked up sorbet recipes while in the warehouse to make sure I had the right ingredients.”
- Dinner Spinner. Find recipes by ingredient, occasion, or nutritional considerations, generate shopping lists on-the-go
- Epicurious. Mobile companion to award winning recipe site.
- Kitchen Companion. Cooking guide, recipe and menu planner from Weight Watchers
Are there others I missed? What apps do you rely on when eating out and shopping for food?