Clean Food & Healthy Living Apps

By Mary Veerkamp, Monadnock Food Co-op Marketing & Membership Staff

For a long time I resisted the technology of Smart Phones. I wanted my phone to be, well, a phone. Alas, the old phone died (it had a good, long life though) and I semi-reluctantly took my $5 trade-in and applied it to an iPhone. I entered the water slowly, installing very few apps on the phone.

When I asked for recommendations from friends, I was inundated with suggestions. Overwhelmed, I decided to search for apps that I thought would be really relevant to my lifestyle, rather than indulgent distractors (bejeweled, anyone?) I have found that now, 2 years later, there are some apps that I rely on regularly when shopping for food and health products. I thought you, savvy consumer, might also want to know about these. I’ll share just a few – and perhaps in another installment I’ll share more if there is interest.

The very first app that I installed was the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. This app, updated annually, lists the 12 most pesticide-contaminated produce items. It also has a Clean 15 list, which ranks the “cleanest” or least contaminated produce. I find this app particularly helpful when trying to prioritize my purchases, ensuring that I buy organic versions of the fruits and vegetables that appear on the Dirty Dozen list.

With all of the recent activity regarding GMO labeling in our state, you might be interested to know that there is a Non-GMO Verified app developed by The Non-GMO Project, the only third party non-gmo verification program in North America. Products and brands listed in the project are those that have voluntarily submitted to non-gmo verification and bear the Non-GMO seal on their labels.

Lastly, another app from the Environmental Working Group called Skin Deep earns a spot in my favorites. This app scores health and beauty products (e.g., shampoo, toothpaste, makeup, sunscreen) on a scale of 0 – 10, from low to high hazard based on ingredients and their known or suspected toxicity. This database contains information on more than 74,000 personal care products.

Far from an exhaustive list, I hope that you find these suggestions helpful.