Fooducate Meets GMOs!

0 comments Article, Oct 23, 2012

So what is Fooducate?

Fooducate is like a personal assistant with a special purpose: grocery advisor.  This free app helps people make healthy food choices for their families at their most captive, when they are at the market.   It is available online for both iPhone and Android mobile devices.

Fooducate is where food and technology meet, and brought to QWV's attention by the folks at Food & Tech Bytes.

Fooducate was begun by Hemi Weingarten who describes himself as a technology entrepreneur, business consultant, and father of three young children.  Mr. Weingarten also explains that  "to his wife's utter delight, he is the family cook AND dishwasher and he is trying to help others healthfully navigate the supermarket aisles."

As chief cook of the Weingarten household, he has also been responsible for the family shopping.  When his children started eating solid foods he found it harder and harder to navigate complicated food labels even in Bay Area supermarkets.  This reporter says "even in Bay Area supermarkets" because a lot of our food is grown in California and one would assume that the food would be purer, healthier and more wholesome in the land of Alice Waters and Michael Pollan.  Not so much...anymore! 

Weingarten explains "despite begin a high tech exec with a graduate degree under my belt, I found it difficult to make rational, information-based decisions for a task as simple as putting groceries into my shopping cart."  He began to wonder about whether his kids really needed juice, yogurts designed especially for young children or whether eating colored food was wise.

Thus, he educated himself devouring books and articles about "the modern food system, nutrition, and food preparation and at some point decided to share this information with other people, so that they too will be able to make better choices. And Fooducate was born."

Fooducate enables shoppers to scan a barcode and the app grades the item by how healthy it is and suggests alternatives that are healthier.

Best of all, Fooducate is not funded by the food, drug, diet or supplement industries and does not advertise "magic pills or exotic supplements according to their web site.

That brings us to where Fooducate meets GMOs or genetically modified organisms...

Fooducate just released a new feature that helps grocery shoppers identify which products are made with GMO ingredients. The California food movement does not disappoint!  The app now enables shoppers to learn more about the probability of GMO ingredients in the foods they consider purchasing.  Not foolproof, but a decent indication.

The app has been updated just as Proposition 37, a ballot initiative in California, would make food producers clearly label anything that contains GMO ingredients.  The usual suspects like Monsanto, which has spent over $7 million alone to defeat the initiative, are opposed. Companies like Nature’s Path Foods has spent a little over $600,000 to support it.  Polls show that most Californians are indeed in favor of it, but support is slipping in the wake of a negative ad blitz  reports Food & Tech Bytes.

What would happen to this new feature if Proposition 37 passes in California and the Food and Drug Administration mandates GMO labeling nationwide?  Weingarten said “We certainly won’t shed any tears if our GMO feature becomes superfluous…We can only hope.”

For those interested in learning more about the foods they are buying....checkout Fooducate.  Let us know how it has helped you in the supermarket.

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Another great supermarket app would be an FDA Daily Digest Bulletin!  In other words, an app that gives you the daily FDA recalls on consumer goods.  Anyone up for the challenge?

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