There’s nothing sweeter than sitting down at a great restaurant and ordering up a tasty dish to melt away the stress of a long day. For quiet nights, it’s also fun to hit the grocery store to prepare your favorite dish at home. The tricky part is finding food that’s healthy and allows our planet to provide enough food for all us humans. In case you didn’t know it, there will be north of nine billion people by 2050. If we plan on feeding everyone without draining the planet’s resources (water, rainforests, etc), we need to eat sustainably. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a lot to think about when all you want to do is tune out and eat whatever you’re in the mood for. Well, thanks to these food apps, you can find the right food with minimal effort.
1. Happy Cow – is one of the most convenient apps I’ve come across. You can be anywhere in the world and with a click of a button, find a restaurant near you that offers vegan or vegetarian food. I’ve used this while traveling in big cities like Toronto or remote areas like St. Moritz. I always find something great within minutes. It also has a great recipe section if you’re in the mood for cooking.
2. How Good – the app helps you make better choices at the grocery store. Their algorithm rates products on 60 indicators of sustainability. To do this, they source information from over 350 organizations that include Humane Certified, Rainforest Alliance, and Fair Trade USA. With over 200,000 rated products, you can sort by the rankings ‘best,’ ‘great,’ and ‘good.’
3. Good Guide – is a tool that rates food and other products on safety, health and ethics. They take a looks at the product’s ingredients, its environmental impact and the company’s attention to labor rights and helping its community. Products are then scored from a low of 0 to a high of 10. The higher the rating, the better the product from a health perspective.
4. EWG Food Scores – is an easy-to-navigate database created to help consumers make healthier, greener food choices. It was launched in 2014 and has ratings for more than 80,000 products. Their database rates foods on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best product, based on nutrition, ingredients and how processed a food item is. Since 2014, there have been over 32 million searches on the site.
5. Seafood Watch – was born out of the Monterrey Bay aquarium. Its primary goal is to help people eat seafood with the least impact on the environment. It functions by helping you understand which types of fish (and from which geographic location) are considered sustainable. For example, blue point oysters from Florida are considered a ‘best choice’, whereas Pacific bigeye tuna is rated ‘avoid’. Before I started eating a plant based diet, I used this app often. I would ask the waiter where the particular fish I wanted was sourced from, and then quickly checked the app to see if it was sustainable or not. In less than 30 seconds, I was able to feel great about my choice that night and enjoy the rest of my evening.
These apps support restaurants doing things the right way and enable smarter choices at the grocery store. What’s more, you can show these app’s off to your friends and family the next time you sit down to dinner.
You can also help to influence chefs by asking your waiter if their ingredients are organic, local, or sourced sustainably. The more they hear from customers, the more likely they are to improve their menu. The next time you got out to eat or head to the store, be sure to bring your smartphone. Your next sustainable meal is only one click away…