Photos: 15 apps that are changing the food industry
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More than 400 companies and 3,000 farms around the world use HarvestMark, a platform to trace where food comes from. You can pick a food and trace where, how, and when it was grown. If the food in the participating supermarket chain has the HarvestMark logo, just scan it to find out the story of that particular item. It can be found on Driscoll’s berries, chicken from Petaluma Poultry, Kroger brands, and many others.
Farmstand shows you seasonal, local food by mapping farms and farmers’ markets. You use the app to quickly find the farmers’ markets around you, and what’s happening at them, or what produce people really like. It shows directions, hours of operation, and photos of over 8,700 farmers’ markets around the world.
It’s very new and only available for iPhone so far, but Ratatouille is an app to reduce food waste. It allows people in the same geographic area to post their leftover perishables. Upload a photo of your food, write a description, and arrange a pick-up spot.
Download this app to have groceries from Whole Foods and Costco delivered within an hour. The first delivery is free, and after that it is $3.99. Deliveries run from 9 a.m. to midnight every day. Personal shoppers deliver the groceries, and you’re encouraged to tip them.
Look & Cook
Look & Cook was created by Israeli startup Kinetic Art. It combines step-by-step instructions with beautiful photographs. It tells you which ingredients and what appliances and utensils you will need. You can also purchase kitchen gadgets within the app. Search for recipes for a specific event or diet.
Wild Edibles allows you to identify wild plants and flowers that you can harvest for consumption. Use a glossary of images and descriptions to find out what it is and then read about how to harvest and cook it the proper way. There’s 165 edible plants, 52 minor look-alikes, and 162 recipes using roots, nuts, fruits, and plants.
Feedie is an app designed by The Lunchbox Fund, which puts our society’s passion for taking and sharing food photos to good use. You sign up via Facebook or Twitter, then visit a participating restaurant. When you use Feedie to take a photo and post it on social media, that restaurant donates money to The LunchBox Fund, a non-profit organization that provides daily meals to schoolchildren in South Africa.
In order to be more transparent about the food industry, GoPure helps you search for restaurants that have sustainable food practices and help the community. Search by type of food, beverages, vegan or vegetarian, or waste. You can also add your own discoveries once you visit the restaurants.
Genetically modified foods are not required to be labeled in the US, and up to 70% of our foods contain genetically modified ingredients. The Center for Food Safety compiled a True Food Shopper’s Guide to show which foods aren’t safe for your health or for the environment. The app has tips in identifying GMOs, lists of supermarkets and their GMO policies, and a shopper’s guide.
Still writing that shopping list on a piece of paper? It inevitably gets lost in your purse, or you leave it on your desk, or forget half the items on it because you don’t have a pen to make notes. Fear no more: there’s ZipList, which allows you to access your grocery list from any device. You can make separate grocery lists and it organizes them by aisle in your grocery store, and you can share them with friends or family. It also has a search option to find and save recipes on the go.
Munchery is a San Francisco startup that was recently in the news for raising $28 million in venture funding. It’s same-day delivery service of foods from local, talented chefs. The menu changes every day, and you can order days in advance or the same day. They’re delivered chilled, so all you have to do is heat it up. The best part is, Munchery uses eco-friendly products and helps feed people in need by donating a portion of the proceeds for each meal to the SF & Marin Food Bank.
Zipongo is a digital health company that provides a platform with personalized meal plans, digital shopping lists, and discounts on the foods you want to buy. It has partnerships with grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Safeway, and offers subscription services for individuals and companies.
This app recommends ocean-friendly seafood at your favorite restaurants. Search by location or by fish species. It lists the most current choices for seafood and sushi, ordered by characteristics such as how they are caught, how endangered they are, and how environmentally friendly and sustainable the fishing or farming practices used are. It was created by scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
To promote local and specialty coffee shops, Blue Crow Media created “Best Coffee” for London, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. The company is also releasing a “Coffee Challenge” app, to test your knowledge about coffee from the plant to the cup.