I dreamed of an app that would tell me if a food was healthy or not. And I found it! The Fooducate App grades foods and makes finding healthy food easy. You just hold up the barcode scanner at the store and scan all of the potential items you want (i.e. I want to choose a tofu, but I’m not sure which one to get). Each one receives a grade, and an explanation why. And then I typically go with the one that has the best grade (an A- or B+ for most of my foods).
Simple idea: use Fooducate to grocery shop
When I first found out about my Graves and Celiac disease, I only shopped at Sprouts. Sprouts is a grocery store that carries tons of natural and healthy food options here in LA. We’re super lucky to have it.
But… I’d buy every item I could find that said “Gluten Free” on the box. I had been avoiding processed foods for so long that I worried about some of the gluten free stuff that I was eating. And then… I started looking gluten free foods up on the internet… and well… I was probably right to worry!
So I started searching for an app. I don’t use many apps, so I wasn’t sure what I would find. I had dreamed up an app that would tell me if a food was healthy or not. And that app would explain what the ingredients were that made it good or bad, so that I could avoid them in other foods. I wanted the Think Dirty app, but for food.
And, wow! I found it! And it’s free! The Fooducate app
I’ve been using this Fooducate app to find healthy food for almost two years. There are tons of features.
- track the food you eat
- look up recipes
- read blog posts with diet tips
- connect to a community
And… I must admit that I haven’t done any of these things! But they’re there if you’re looking for something like that. ;-)
I use the barcode reader. The barcode reader is called the ‘Food Finder’ in the app. It is located on the bottom bar of menu choices. You click on it, hold the phone in front of the barcode until it scans, and the app finds the food item in its library.
It brings back a grade. The best I’ve seen is an A, and the worst is a D. I’m not sure if they go all the way from A+ to F, but maybe!) Click “Why” to see why the item is graded the way it is. If you want alternatives, or detailed nutrition breakdown, you click on those tabs.
This bar code scan makes it so easy to make decisions in the grocery store. If I’m buying something new, I scan each of the few different brands that I’m comparing and get a definitive answer on which is best.
You can also save your favorites. I keep our most commonly eaten foods (and the ones I crave but have looked up and know they’re bad…) in my list. That way I can quickly check without having to look items up again.
A couple of caveats:
- The only time things haven’t gone great with this app is if there is not a strong cell signal in the store. So if your barcode isn’t pulling up your item, that’s probably why.
- Sometimes I do find items duplicated with different scores. I’m not sure how that happens, but I just average them and move on.
- Every once in a while you come across a food that’s not in the list. It’s super easy to snap a couple of photos and submit them. Obviously, the more popular this app becomes, the more foods will be in the app, and the more we all benefit.
So download it now! Seriously, you’ll love it.
And one last fun reason to get this:
Save your marriage! Seriously, it will cut out fights with your spouse or kids over which food is healthier. We run into this problem all of the time in the store – Shawn thinks he knows what’s best (and of course I actually do know what is best ;-). So we “Scan it”. And the argument is over! We just trust what it says at this point. And for the items that we don’t trust, we click through to find out why it scored the way it did.
We also have the kids trained. They know that D grade items are for “special occasions”, and cereal needs to be a B or better. They know which yogurt to choose now that we’ve successfully scanned ALL options in the store. Seriously, it will change your life. Enjoy!