Friday, March 2, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Fooducate

Is it just me, or are the nutrition facts and ingredient labels getting smaller and smaller each time you go to the grocery store? The words and letters on food labels are really becoming harder to see. It's bad enough that I am super goal-oriented and purposefully scrutinize every label to make sure there's no:
HFCS (check)
Trans fat (check)
Partially hydrogenated fat or oil (check)
And of course no soy, no soy nuts, no soy oil, no soy lecithin - unless, of course,  it's organic and not genetically modified! Check, check, CHECK!

Food shopping can simply be exhausting - all the squinting, reading and checking of food labels. And those fluorescent lights - somehow, they can make my wrinkles look so obvious, but they do absolutely nothing for illuminating all that tiny print. Before I know it, I've wasted precious time, just trying to make sure that the food I bring home is basically, nutritious.

In comes Fooducate, a personal grocery advisor, in the form of an iPhone App:
Fooducate is an iPhone app that can help you choose healthy food products (as you shop). All you need to do is point your phone camera toward the UPC bar code of the food product and viola: nutritional facts about the item are revealed! If you don't have a camera phone, you can manually enter the bar code or the name of the food product in the search box to get the same info.

And, the best part ...the App is free!

So, take for example, today, after I came home from my six mile run that ended in a grueling six 100 meter strides (thanks, coach), I was thirsty and a little hungry. I drank some coconut water and grabbed a 'yobaby Stoneyfield yogurt'.

I wish I could drink organic skim chocolate milk, but the running alone does a number on my tummy, and it would get really, really ugly if I sucked down any kind of milk after a run! 

Anyway, I figure the yogurt has about the same stuff, the carbs and whey, so, it's a good little replacement and I'm digging on these mini yobaby sizes. BUT, how nutritious are they? 
I'll just read the label....
Now, surely you jest. 
Here is the label on that container.
Someone is playin' a joke on me, right?
So, I grab my iPhone, tapped on the Fooducate App, typed in yobaby blueberry Stonyfield yogurt and, voila, a whole bunch of info popped up. I got a picture, which confirmed to my troubled eyes, that this was the product I was looking for, and I got a review.

The review told me that the yobaby blueberry Stonyfield yogurt has grade equal to an A- and 89% of the peeps who reviewed it, clicked "like it". It also explained that this yogurt has 110 calories, 3tsp sugar and is a good source of Vitamin A.

At the bottom of the App, I can click on a link that will give me alternative food choices and a link that will add this food to a Shopping List.

If your having trouble with all this, and find yourself wishing, like I do, that you had the computer mind of your eight or ten year old niece or nephew, there's link at the top left corner, which opens to a page with a bunch of links to things like FAQ, your Shopping List and "Daily Tips", the Fooducate Blog.

It's not all-inclusive, but it's fun, and a little addicting. Get the App and you'll see - you won't want to stop zooming in on the UPC bar codes on the food in your pantry and refrigerator!


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