Technology and food can seem like oil and water – they just don’t mix. With the controversies over GMOs, industrialized agriculture, and the recent introduction of “schmeat”, it’s hard to believe that a mix of technology and food will ever project benefits on our health, our communities, and our environment. But, like many industries, the introduction of new mobile apps are changing how we react within the food industry.
Buycott is a mobile app that “helps organize your consumer spending to help causes that you care for, and to oppose those that you don’t.” Consumers are instructed to scan the bar code of a product to review details about the product they may not have know from reading the label, such as the parent companies of the product and how the product relates to your “campaigns,” or consumer generated goals consisting of a list of companies to support or boycott based on personal moral. For example, some campaigns focus on GMO labeling, factory farming, even preservative-free beer. While this app may prolong your shopping trip, it encourages users to define and research what they believe is right and wrong. Buycott brings transparency to a new level providing its user with in depth research instantaneously.
Leftover Swap, to be released this fall, focuses on decreasing the amount of food that goes to waste byallowing users to swap leftovers. Grist has described it as digital dumpster diving as users are encouraged to post a photo of their leftovers while others use a GPS tracking system to claim their new dinner. While some skeptics doubt the success of the app due to the lack of iPhones in the hands of the homeless or less fortunate, co-founders, Dan Newman and Bryan Summersett, have the numbers to prove the amount of waste estimated to be reduced.
With generations growing more and more reliant on technology, innovative mobile apps are bound to increase, placing relevant information at the tips of our fingers. Those who haven’t adapted to the green movement are soon to be outnumbered as more and more consumers are forcing sustainability onto our culture.