Apps can alert you to food additives and chemicals
Others can help you identify what's in season and make healthy choices
You can find healthier products at the store or while traveling
I have to admit, I’m not much of an app person. I use Twitter and Pinterest more sparingly than I intend to, and I still maintain my daily to-do list using paper and pencil.
But, I’m not oblivious to the appeal of high tech tools. I’ve always known that dozens of fantastic programs were waiting for me beneath that little blue App Store icon, and one of my resolutions this year was to start taking advantage of them.
So, I set out to find 10 apps I think I’ll regularly use myself, and recommend to my clients. Here are my finds (all free by the way), and the situations in which I bet I’ll be glad they’ll be at my fingertips.
Situation: I need to look up a food additive, stat!
App: Chemical Cuisine
When I pick up a packed food, the very first thing I do is read the ingredient list. And while my training has left me familiar with most, I sometimes still spot additives that leave me scratching my head (most recently thaumatin, a natural sweetener I hadn’t yet heard about).
My previous modus operandi would be to whip out my iPhone and do a quick Google search, but this app from Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) may offer a shortcut. It provides a brief description of over 130 additives, along with an overall evaluation of either “safe,” “cut back,” “caution,” “avoid,” or “certain people should avoid.” Even if I don’t always agree with the rating, I appreciate the summary, so I can make my own informed decision about whether or not to let an ingredient into my grocery cart.
Situation: Yikes! Organic pineapple is twice the price. Is it OK to buy the non-organic?
App: Dirty Dozen
I think it’s always best to go organic when you can, but the benefits of fitting in at least five daily servings of fruits and veggies outweigh the risks of consuming non-organic varieties.
That said, I want to do my best to minimize my pesticide exposure, and that’s exactly what this app helps me to. It list