“I want to shop healthy. Really I do. But it’s too much work trying to figure out which foods are GMO, pesticide and chemical-free. I can’t keep up with all the labels. It’s so intimidating, I don’t know where to start. So I don’t.”
I get this a lot. Friends, new clients, emails from people wanting to shift to a healthier lifestyle.
The desire to eat and shop healthy is stymied only by the lack of time to investigate into each apple and cereal box.
Well, there’s an app for that. Actually there are a few.
But before we get there, here is a simple and effective way to spot conventional, organic and GMO fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Each item comes with a sticker on it with four or five digits. Here’s what they mean.
Doesn’t that simplify grocery-shopping significantly? Now, here’s a list of five apps that will simplify your grocery and food shopping further:
1. EWG’s dirty dozen
Eating organic is not always an affordable choice for most of us. The good news is not all fruits and veggies need to be bought organic. The EWG releases an annual list called the Dirty Dozen (heavily sprayed foods and important to buy organic) and the Clean Fifteen (less sprayed and can be bought inorganic/conventional). They have free iPhone and Android apps to help you at the grocery store.
I love this app when I’m out shopping. Scan the barcode of any packaged food/drink and it will give you a rating for the product with specific warnings, if applicable. It also gives me up to ten other, healthier alternatives in the same category. There is a paid, ad-free version available for $4.99. Some eye-opening information pops up with fooducate and some brands I believe to be healthy often receive poor ratings. Well I guess it’s all about fooducation.
3. Non-GMO project shopping guide
Almost all of America’s corn and soy is produced with genetically modified seeds. From animal feed to cereal, GMO foods have leeched themselves into our food supply and the lack of labeling doesn’t make it any easier to avoid them. 80% of packaged foods in American supermarkets contain GMO ingredients. So what’s a healthy shopper to do? The Non-GMO project has been extensively involved in creating awareness about GMO foods and offering alternatives. Their app features a list of the brands and products that are enrolled in the Non-GMO Project’s Product Verification Program.
Additional resource: 10 Apps to help you eat GMO free
4. Chemical cuisine
I know the name is unappetizing but trust me the app is very useful. Once upon a time, food came from farms and labels were not required. A stalk of broccoli contained well… broccoli. Not anymore. Today our food shopping experience involves packaged foods with a list of unpronounceable ingredients. This is where Chemical Cuisine steps in like the knight in shining armor for helpless, distraught shoppers. Each ingredient comes with a safety reading, ranging from ‘Safe’ to ‘Caution’ with detailed information about it. Great for checking ingredients when you’re out shopping.
Want to shop local and eat in season? Locavore is your app. This nifty app will list all local sellers, from farms, CSAs to farmers’ markets. It also provides a list of in-season fruits and veggies and recipes. And if you want to connect with other healthy and local food lovers, there is a social network element to the app as well. In all it’s a win-win.
I hope you enjoyed this compilation. Which one are you likely to use regularly?
If there are other apps you swear by please share them in the comments. Thanks and love xo