May 17, 2012

Feed your head: Consume better nutrition facts with Fooducate.

Welcome to our new Healthy App Review series! At tawkon, we're serious about making life a life a little healthier with the power of mobile apps and other smart technology. We figure, if you like tawkon, you'll probably like some of the other apps we use in our daily lives! 

Shopping made nutritious. Ah, the old days, when supermarket shopping meant walking down aisles, picking out your groceries and paying at the register. Not a care in the world, no feeling of consequences.

Ok, that's not totally true... There have always been consequences to what we consume - whether via our dietary habits, substances inhaled, or how we conduct conversations on our cell phones. It's just that now, with so much information available, we're paying more attention to what we take in.

That's never been clearer than it is today, when it seems every packaged food item we buy is loaded with odd-sounding ingredients like 'vanillin' and 'E-286.'

No excuses, fellow shoppers: we now have Fooducate, a free app for iPhone and Android, developed by "a team of parents, dietitians and techies." Fooducate wants us to 'eat a bit better' by considering the ingredients in the packaged foods we're about to toss into our shopping carts.

Sound familiar? We at tawkon definitely relate to an app that helps you watch what your body absorbs.

As a parent myself, this is an empowering prospect. I'll admit it - I look at other people's carts, with their kids dangling out the sides, and wonder, why are so many buying Oreos? Are those Nutri Grain bars really all that... 'Nutri'?

After trying it out, I found it really easy to use. You just scan the bar code of the product, and if it's in the system, the app brings up a screen with data like calories and sugar per serving, definitions of certain additives, and explanations for ingredients.

Admittedly, I don't see myself grasping for my smartphone at every product decision. I've found it equally useful to review my shopping list at home, and enter listed products into the Fooducate website (which includes the features) before heading out. That way I polish my shopping list before I hit the aisles.

One last thing - fellow parents of the allergy-prone - Fooducate just released a new app: Allergy Talk. Use it to discover which of your groceries include lactose, gluten, peanuts and more.

Fooducate is yet another smart prevention app to make our lives a little healthier.

What do you think of Fooducate: convenient or overboard? Share your thoughts below.

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