Fooducate is an iPhone app which attempts to help you make better food purchasing and eating decisions. It contains a bar code scanning technology, not unfamiliar to many other apps. What Fooducate has that they don’t, however, is a system which will pull up the scanned food product and grade them from A to D. Read on for our Fooducate for iPhone review to see if this really does help us eat a bit better.
Fooducate’s grading system is based on the following statement. “Minimally processed, real foods with intrinsic nutrients will score better than processed foods that are poor in built-in nutrients.” While this is a very high level and broad statement, the app makers go into far more detail on their website. In addition to the basic functionality of scanning and seeing the grades, Fooducate gives you the flexibility to connect with friends, see history, search for a product by name or category, create a grocery list, find healthy alternatives to your scanned product, and even follow an in-app blog containing health tips.
You can connect with your Facebook, create a Fooducate account, or just use the app as a guest. All of these options are quick and work without issues.
Scan and Review
On launch, (and after signing in the first time through one of the above methods), the apps main feature will auto-launch – the ‘Scan barcode’ screen. Hovering the on screen rectangle over a product’s barcode will automatically bring you to a page with the product’s picture, grade, caloric information, reasons for the grading, and comments from users about the product. In addition, from this page you can ‘like’ or ‘don’t like’, add to your grocery list, or see similar alternatives.
Browse for Product
In addition to scanning products, you can search for a product by name, or get to a healthy product in a category. To do this, hit Browse from the Scanning screen. This screen will allow you to type the products name or barcode. The categories are listed below the search bar. Results are sorted by Top Graded default, but can also be sorted by popularity, or recently added.
Shopping and Recently Viewed Lists
By clicking the square with the 9 squares inside on the top left of the app, you will get to the app’s different pages. The current product being viewed or the scan view is on the top left. Followed by messages and a Find button to go directly to the scan / browse page. In the middle left is your List area. This will allow you to see your recently viewed / scanned items. Another tab labeled Shopping List will show you products added from the scan page and also allow you to add products from here. This list can be edited, which will show replace buttons. This is where you can swap what you wanted, for something similar and hopefully, more healthy for you. From the Shopping List, you can also export your list to email, Facebook, or Twitter. All exciting features which can really help you eat better.
From the main navigation page, you can also click ‘Healthy Me’ in the center of the choices. This screen shows an overview containing the Average grade of products viewed this week, Average grade of products viewed all time, and Average grade of ‘liked’ products all time. Hopefully your grade improves over time.
From the main page again, the middle right icon will take you to the Fooducate Blog. Here you can read articles daily which teach you about a number of different health topics. At the time of writing this, the article is “Food and Brain: Antioxidants.”
Help Fooducate Help You
While Fooducate contains an extraordinary amount of products, it does not have everything, However, should you scan a product which is not in their system, you can help them out, and they’ve made it very easy to do so. Once you agree to help, you will be taken to a series of screens asking you to take a picture of the product, the Nutrition Facts, and the Ingredients. The app will then package it into an email and you can send it away. Very cool! The few times the products were not found, I have been happy to help and send in my photos.
FAQ and Settings
Fooducate contains a set of built in Frequently Asked Questions. In addition, the settings page allows you to set your location and Nickname. Setting your location, according to the app, helps it to recommend products which are more likely to be available near you.
While Fooducate is only available as an iPhone app currently, it works just as well in double size on the iPad. Being free is always a plus. I consider myself a health conscious and health educated person. Therefore, while using this app, I have always guessed a grade which I would give a product, and then compare that grade to the Fooducate grade. Often, the grade I would give a product is in a similar range to the Fooducate grade. My friends and family who are now using this app have been able to make better decisions. I believe if used often, it can help you too. For its helpfulness, I rate this app a 9/10 and recommend everyone go out and get at least the free version.
Fooducate is Free with Ads or $3.99 without. It is available in the App Store for purchase.