There's an app for your appetite

There's an app for your appetite

Visit my home and you’ll see an entire shelf dedicated to cookbooks and books about nutrition. What can I say? This girl likes to eat, and she’s a glutton for info on healthy eating, too.

Now let me introduce you to my latest addiction: the food app.

I’m not talking about one more portal to food-porn pics. You can find those anywhere. What I’m going to show you are some great resources to help you eat better—not just for your own health, but the sake of the planet. They’re all just a smart-phone click away.

Below are my top-five food apps... plus one more that I’d like to see someone create. Alex Jamieson, please take note!

Based on your location, Locavore tells you what fruits and vegetables are in season, and pinpoints local farmers’ markets and farms where you can get them. Best of all, the app lets you browse seasonal recipes to make use of all that farm-fresh produce you’re about to buy. (Free; available for iPhone and Android.)

Love Food Hate Waste
If you hate to waste food like I do, this app is the perfect way to give your leftovers a second chance. Using the “Recipe Blender,” you can generate “Rescue Recipes” that remix your old food in new and interesting ways. A word of warning to vegetarians: this app has a lot of meat dishes. But they can be good inspiration too—look for those marked with a ‘V’ for pure vegetarian options. (Free; available for iPhone and Android.)

Seafood Watch
The Monterey Bay Aquarium developed this app to help seafood lovers choose dishes that are both healthy and ocean-friendly. It identifies the best choices (including those ranked ‘Super Green’), some good alternatives, and some options to avoid altogether. Users are encouraged to suggest markets and restaurants they know of where sustainable fish are served. (Free; available for iPhone and Android.)

If you stick to a plant-based diet, you know how hard it is to eat out, at least if you want more than a side salad for dinner. VegOut helps you to find the vegan, vegetarian, and vegetarian-friendly restaurants in closest proximity. And because it’s location-based, it’s perfect for discovering new places when on the road. (Cost: $2.99; available for iPhone.)

If you’re not sure whether to smell, weigh, or knock on a melon before you buy it, this is the app for you. Simply put, it’s your guide to picking perfectly ripe produce. What I love most about Harvest is that it indicates pesticide residue levels for different types of produce, which can help you choose between organic and conventional options if you can’t go organic all the time. (Cost: $1.99; available for iPhone.)

My Wishlist App: Living Vegan for Dummies
Whether you’ve eaten vegan your whole life, are making the transition to a plant-based diet, or simply trying to integrate more plant-based foods into your life, Alexandra Jamieson’s reference book Living Vegan for Dummies should be your ultimate go-to guide. Please, Alexandra: Make my next app!

This is by no means an exhaustive list, folks. If you’ve got some great food apps on your phone, I want to hear to hear about them.

April 11, 2012