One component of a sustainable community is a sustainable food system. The global food system has become extremely large and complex and has a huge environmental impact. Food products are produced, processed, and shipped around the world every day. This consumes energy and water, generates waste, and released greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. It is estimated that there will be 9 billion people in the world by 2050. This level of population will consume twice as much food as it does today. If steps are not taken to deal with this, these high levels of demand and consumption will lead to a larger, more environmentally damaging food system.
Local food offers one solution to these problems. Local food is fresher and uses less fossil fuels to reach the consumer because it doesn’t have to travel as far. Also, because local farms are usually small in size, organic farming methods can be more easily implemented to produce organic, healthy food. By supporting local, healthy food, you will also be supporting local jobs.
Below are 3 apps that can help you find, buy, and support local, healthy food.
Locavore is a free app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that helps you find and support local farms and farmer’s markets. In the U.S., food travels an average of 1,500 miles in order to reach the consumer. Supporting locally grown food will help conserve oil, reduce emissions, and support the local economy.
“Based on your phone’s GPS location, Locavore will make searching for in-season, local food a breeze by pinpointing farms and farmers’ markets nearest you. Read all about them on their profile page, find that specific local item you have been looking for or just check out what’s in-season right now. Plus, you can get recipe suggestions to make with your delicious local food and then, brag about it to all your friends through Facebook.”
1 – Browse what’s in-season and soon to come
2 – Locate farms and farmers’ markets nearest you
3 – Learn about your food and who is producing it
4 – Get details about your local farmers’ market
5 – Find recipes for local, in-season items
6 – Post what you ate locally to Facebook
Harvest is an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad that costs $1.99 and helps you select the best fruits and vegetables available. Once you find out where you can buy locally grown food, you will want to know how to pick out the best food. In the U.S., uneaten food accounts for 19% of the waste that is disposed of in landfills. Approximately 50% of food in the U.S. goes bad and is lost during transportation. This app can help you pick the best fruits and vegetables and reduce waste from having to throw out bad food.
“Harvest features an elegant and efficient collection of intelligent tips and techniques for purchasing the best quality fruits and vegetables. Harvest was developed with a deep attention to detail and function. With smooth, snappy browsing and searching, it’s designed for quick referencing right at the market.
In addition, Harvest also offers instructions on how to best store and keep your perfect produce. Storing has it’s own plethora of unobvious tips and tricks! For instance, did you know that garlic is best stored out of the refrigerator, and that corn loses half its sugar content in one day out of refrigeration?
Harvest also features pesticide residue levels for each item. To help your budget, you can selectively buy organic based on items which have the highest levels of chemical residue (even after washing and peeling). Furthermore, also included is a full list of pesticide levels from worst to best, so you can see the big picture of how pesticides play out across all produce.”
1 – Selecting and storing instructions, tips, and tricks for over 126 fruits and vegetables
2 – Super-fast searching and filtering for finding an item quickly
3 – Pesticide residue levels under each item
4 – Full list of pesticide levels, for the big picture about which items have the most
5 – Know which items will continue ripening at home, and which are as good as they get when you see them in the store
6 – Extremely fluid and responsive user interface (no choppy scrolling)
7 – Elegantly designed graphics and images
8 – Extraordinary attention to detail and usability
This is a free app for the iPhone or iPad that lets you find healthy recipes and create shopping lists based on the ingredients. Now that you know where and how to buy the best locally grown food, you will need to know what you can make with it. Whole Foods Market Recipes allows you to do just that.
“Looking for healthy and delicious food? Search Whole Foods Market Recipes for recipes featuring the finest natural and organic foods. You can search recipes by ingredients and dietary preferences such as gluten-free, low fat, and vegetarian/vegan. Every Whole Foods Market recipe includes nutritional information and cooking instructions. You can also enter up to 3 items you have on hand to find recipes using those ingredients.
Add ingredients to your Shopping List from a recipe automatically, including quantities so you don’t buy too much. You can also add items by hand, edit, rearrange, and send your list via email.
Use the App’s store locator to find Whole Foods Market stores near you. Each store page includes links to the store website and specials of natural and organic foods on sale at your local Whole Foods Market.”
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