The Accidental Locavore has suffered from nut allergies and hates to have to pull out glasses to peruse food labels, so Fooducate would seem to be a great app. You scan the bar-codes of various products and it delivers a grade from A-F, a calorie count and a percentage of how many people like (or don’t like) the product. Below that is a brief explanation as to how it got that rating (this can be expanded for some serious nutritional info…maltodextrin anyone?). It offers 5 similar food alternatives and allows you to scan and compare your food choices. If you don’t have a barcode, you can just type in something, say bananas, and it will come back with a list for you to choose from. Fooducate also keeps a list of things you’ve looked up, so if you need a reminder that Oreos aren’t good for you…
While this is probably a good app for someone on a diet (and would seem to be made for Weight Watchers), there are flaws. First of all for the Locavore, there are no lists of ingredients and no way to customize the app. Supposedly, that’s coming in a future version. So if I scan a can of mixed nuts, there are no alarms going off to tell me this is forbidden territory, not so important with that, but hugely important with things like power bars and granola, all of which seem to contain some nut products (one of the reasons I make my own granola).
Secondly, of four products I pulled out of the cupboard, only two of them were found. A bag of Doritos (empty) got a C-and a can of oatmeal from Whole Foods (A-). There are no F’s “if it fills your tummy, ANY food has served an important service…” Not sure I agree with that! A bag of Aborio rice from Whole Foods wasn’t found, although there are about 25 listed when you search for them, with ratings from A to B-. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the fluctuations in the ratings. My fourth item, a box of crackers from Eli Zabar would have shocked me if it was included and it wasn’t. You can send them photos of anything that’s not listed and they will (supposedly) list it in the future.
Rating: 3 out of 5 (Waiting for the customizable version, some flaws)
Developer/Seller: Fooducate Ltd.
Cost: free ($3.99 for plus version, no ads)
Compatible with: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android