For something we all depend on, our relationship with food varies immensely from person to person. Gluten-free. Paleo. No carbs. South Beach Diet. We all have diet preferences, whether that’s by constraint or choice.
The way we source the food, from hunter-gatherer societies to foodies who Instagram their farm-to0table delight, and the way we interact with it continues to evolve and reshape itself.
The ways we access food, acquire it, and learn about it have all changed as well. Recent trends have seen three hot areas in the way we interact with food today:
Push to Deliver
While the grocery stores themselves seem to be lagging in technology innovation adoption, delivery options aren’t. It used to be that grocery delivery strictly fell into the category of unattainably expensive for most people, and many people still think of it as kind of a frivolous luxury.
But it can come in handy—a sudden case of food poisoning, for example, can make access to a grocery store for recovery items suddenly quite difficult. Services like Instacart, which enable their customers to order groceries quickly and hand deliver within an hour, can offer the perfect type of remedy for this kind of dilemma.
Even outside of unexpected scenarios, we’re becoming an increasingly time-crunched and time-valued society, and with the growing accessibility of delivery, it might make more sense to go that route instead of spending an hour or two going shopping in your precious free time.
Follow from Farm-to-Table
Between 2000 and 2010, annual sales of organic food and beverages grew by over twenty billion dollars, from $6 billion to $26.7 billion. People care more and more about what they’re putting on their plates, and several apps have emerged to make it easier to be a conscious consumer.
HarvestMark is an emerging solution that allows users to see where their food comes from—including whether it’s genetically modified. With legislation to label GMO food moving at a glacial pace, that’s one way for users to circumvent the red tape. HarvestMark also lets users know if there are any foodborne illness issues or recalls associated with a particular type of food, keeping users more informed on safety issues than they would be otherwise.
A similar option is the TrueFood Shopper’s Guide, which not only checks produce, but can tell users if pre-made foods have genetically engineered ingredients.
Another app called Locavore lets users easily tell what food is in-season locally and tells them where they can buy it, showcasing local farmer’s markets.
Input Equals Output.
A 2008 study showed participants who kept a diet diary at least six days a week lost about twice as much weight as people who only kept a food diary one day a week. For users whose goal is to manage their weight, a variety of solutions have emerged in the marketplace.
And while it might have previously been tedious, apps like MyNetDiarymake it much quicker and easier to see what you’re actually eating and how that plays into your health goals. Many of them integrate with other tools like the Fitbit activity trackers to give users a 360 view of how progress on health goals is going, whether it’s what a user is eating eating or how much a user is exercising.
The labels on food can be difficult to navigate, and most restaurant menus don’t have nutritional value listed on them—so apps like these make it as easy as possible to understand exactly what kinds of foods fit into your fitness goals and what don’t.
These apps all make it easier to make the right decisions for you, your family, and your lifestyle. They remove the extra effort between the user and their ideal; they can’t make you choose healthier options, but they can make it that much more convenient and enable you to make better decisions.