I just downloaded a new food app to my iPhone today called  "Fooducate" .  It looks really good. It is basically an app that, through reading the barcode on food packaging, analyzes the ingredients and nutrition information and simplifies it to show you which foods are healthy and which are not so healthy.  Each food gets a grade, A - D, and then: the product's highlights are listed - both good and bad; other products are compared; and healthier alternatives are suggested.  The scoring system takes into account processing, fat content, nutrients, plus lots of other factors, thus whole foods or minimally processed foods score higher than processed foods.

Highlights they report to you include:

  • excessive sugar
  • too much salt
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • controversial food colorings
  • high fiber
  • additives and preservatives etc, etc

It utilizes the iPhone's camera to scan barcodes of food items.  If a particular food item isn't listed, it then asks you to take three photos of the item and they will then update their list.  Currently more than 200,000 unique foods are in the database.  They are also keen to get feedback from people if they think a product isn't analyzed correctly.

Screen shot of the phone scanning the barcode

The system was created by dietitians and concerned parents with the idea that people will check on items as they are doing their shopping and choose the healthiest version.

I got the free version but there is a $3.99 version too, but I'm not sure what the difference is...maybe just no ads. Fooducate won AppStore 2011 best app in Health and Fitness category. They also have a blog where they educate you even more about food. It seems a good quick guide for people to use.

Have you tried it?  Let me know if you give it a go.  I'm going to try scanning my cupboard now and see what I'll have for dinner tonight.  Eat something healthy tonight.