Friday, December 2, 2011

*Freestyle Friday: Fooducate App

*Sometimes there's a little more to my life than food. Friday's the day I'll share, I mean, most Fridays I hope to share those bits with you. We'll cover crafts, music, travel, who knows.

I took nutrition 101 my freshman year of college. It was painful. My teacher barely spoke English, I don't think she wanted to be teaching and most of us struggled through the semester. I passed, but all I can remember from the class is the teacher making us keep a food diary for a week. Good luck calculating calories at an all-you-can-eat college dining hall. 

When I look back on the class, I wish I'd learned whole lot more. I wish I'd learned more about nutrition labels, the importance of percent daily values, how much sodium is too much sodium, how to calculate a food's glycemic index. I could go on and on.

Luckily for the husband, though unfortunate for me, I have yet to learn all I want to learn about diet, nutrition, and all that encompasses food and our health. I can just see him rolling his eyes imagining how long I'd take at the grocery store if I knew all I want to know about the food we're buying. 

Unfortunately for the husband, I just downloaded the Fooducate app. Perhaps I didn't need a better nutrition teacher after all.

Fooducate is available on iPhone and Android; best of all, it's free! The app's website explains is all quite simply: scan, see, select. You open the app, line up and scan the barcode on the food item in question and, if the food is in the database, you'll see that food's grade. You'll also receive a little information as to how the grade was generated.

My everyday carton of liquid egg whites? It scored a B- because, although the item contains less than five ingredients, Fooducate thinks I should eat more eggs: "If you are like most people, you need to eat a diet with more REAL food. Eggs are real food." 

OK, OK, I can live with that.

The nonfat Greek yogurt I pack in my lunch just about every day scored an A and got a "Yippee - no added sweeteners!"

Score! I can't imagine giving up that yogurt, so I'm glad to see it rated so high.

And if you don't have the food on hand but still want to look it up, you can search by product and type in the item you'd like to know more about. 

Just for fun, I typed in "cereal" and picked one that was rated a D+. I'm happy to report this isn't a cereal the husband ever buys, but it is one that I know we've both enjoyed in the past - probably as kids or poor college students. The cereal's poor grade was due to its high amount of sugar, artificial flavors and artificial colors. It even got a red exclamation point for being one of the worst products in its category. Ouch. 

So maybe I didn't learn much in that long-ago nutrition class. Thanks to Fooducate, I'm not sure how much that'll matter anymore. (Just kidding. Apps won't solve all of your problems - stay in school!)

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