You’ve found a great recipe and now you need to shop for the ingredients. Unfortunately, labels don’t tell the whole story of what is in a product. Knowing that healthy foods (and healthy personal care and cleaning products) are available doesn’t mean you will know them when you’re confronted with an array of choices at the store. So, here are 5 apps to help you get and stay healthy. All of these apps are free to download.
EWG’s Healthy Living
The Healthy Living app comes from EWG (Environmental Working Group), an organization dedicated to helping people live healthier lives in a healthier environment. EWG was the driving force behind the recent defeat of the DARK Act in the Senate. This app lets you scan a product’s barcode, read a review, and make a healthy choice. You can scan both personal care and food items in a database of around 200,000 items, or browse through the database. You will be given reviews based on allergy concerns, cancer concerns, and developmental concerns, as well as a score from 1 (good) to 10 (worst).
The Think Dirty. app is for personal care and cleaning products. Scan the barcode and get a rating from 0 (neutral) to 10 (dirty) based on carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies and immunotoxicities. It will give you the reason for the rating based on each ingredient (in other words, each ingredient is also rated 0-10). You will receive recommendations for items rated 0-2 (neutral) in the same category as the item you scanned. If your item isn’t in the database, you can submit it for review and get the result in a day or two. You can also shop on Amazon for the product you choose directly from the app. This is my favorite app in this category (personal care and cleaning products).
Non-GMO Project Shopping Guide
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization that offers North America’s only third-party verification and labeling for non-GMO (genetically modified organism) foods and products. GMO foods (also called GE, or geneticially engineered, foods) are created in a lab by altering the genetic makeup of a plant or an animal. The vast majority of corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets grown in the U.S. are now genetically engineered, and they are often used as ingredients in processed foods (1). The food industry is also pushing to further expand the use of genetic engineering. This app allows you to scan products to find out if they are genetically modified or not. You can also search by product category, brand, and product name.
EWG’s Food Scores
Another great app from EWG, Food Scores rates products based on nutrition, ingredient concerns, and processing, combining these three areas into an overall score from 1 (best) to 10 (worst). To come up with a score, nutrition is weighed most heavily, followed by ingredient concerns, then processing. Considerations include the likely presence of key contaminants, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, and possible health implications of food additives. It took the engineers at EWG three years to build this app and it includes over 80,000 foods, 5,000 ingredients, and 1,500 brands.
Eating out is one of the biggest challenges facing those dedicated to healthy eating. HealthyOut from Rise Labs, Inc. helps you find the better options on a menu and makes meal modification suggestions so you won’t fill up on bad stuff. It lets you search your local area for restaurants offering healthy items. You can choose from meals that fall within a specific calorie range or ones that adhere to your dietary restrictions (vegetarian, Paleo, gluten-sensitive, South Beach, Zone, etc.). It’s in over 500 cities nationwide.
So, which apps do you use to keep you on the straight and narrow in your food and personal care/cleaning choices? I’d love to try any new ones you might know of.
Learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.