Edibly and Me: Nifty App for Discovering the Junk in Your Grocery List

| January 10, 2014 | 0 Comments

I am not much of a gearhead, but I stumbled over the Edibly app last night and thought it was fun to play with, and a pretty useful toy. It’s a work in progress, I believe, but holds great potential for reminding some folks — especially those who live by their smartphone — what to avoid when they’re wandering the center of the grocery store.

Of course, the Green Hedonist is big on scratch cooking whenever possible, and I don’t buy a lot of packaged foods, but rather wander the produce, dairy, and organic aisles mostly. But when I do venture into the middle, it’s good to know there are people out there developing tools like this to lend a hand (I need all the help I can get)

This app, created by Alex Bekker, allows you to scan the barcode of a grocery product and will then give you the lowdown on its ingredients. The idea is to help buyers avoid trans fats, food preservatives, artificial sweeteners and colors, and other unhealthy food additives.

I thought I’d take it for a spin last night on some groceries I had laying around the house from a recent family visit: a jar of peanut butter, some crackers, and some boxed cereal. And an energy bar. Jar of pickles. Box of pasta. Chocolate bar. Roasted tomatoes. Sourdough bread….. Okay, I went off the deep end. Ahem. But: scanning the barcode of the product gives you a snapshot of the ingredients in a quick-look traffic signal way: Red for ick, yellow for watch out, green for good enough. Here’s an example from Alex’s web site:


If your barcode can’t be figured out, you can also scan the list of ingredients, and the app will try to take it from there.

There are a lot of ingredients yet missing (Alex says he is still working on adding new ones) and some of the ingredients that get a green smiley are a little suspect. And it won’t help you identify GMO’s, if that’s your concern — you will need to choose organic or specifically labeled non-GMO to be sure about that, thanks to Monsanto — but it will be helpful for those who do a lot of shopping in the middle of the store, and are needing a little bit of help remembering which ingredients are going to kill them and which aren’t.

See if you like it:

iPhone app store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/edibly-food-ingredients-unmasked/id676372430

Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=prod.edibly.app&hl=en





Category: Cooking, Food, Useful Stuff

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