Illustration: Mauricio Alejo
Learning to cook new foods can be daunting. And grocery shopping while also trying to navigate nutrition labels? Don’t get us started. Meet two new tools that can help you overcome these common hurdles to a better diet.
Shop Smarter With Fooducate
What if a nutrition label could be as simple as a letter grade? That's the idea behind Fooducate, a free mobile app that makes it a cinch to compare items on supermarket shelves. Inspiration struck founder Hemi Weingarten when he noticed glow-in-the-dark yogurt in the family's groceries. "My wife had bought the stuff for our kids," he says. "The yogurt had red dye #40 in it, which is a petroleum-based synthetic dye that's come under all sorts of criticism and has been banned in some European countries. The thought of feeding that to our family turned my stomach." With Weingarten's app, you can scan the bar codes of yogurts in the dairy aisle and learn that one outscores the others because it has less added sugar and fewer dyes. In the frozen pizza section, one brand may score high for its organic ingredients, while another falls short thanks to trans fats. Each product is rated based on its nutrients, as well as where those nutrients come from. (A cereal earns high marks for containing fiber—and higher marks if that fiber is derived from whole grains.)
Cook Smarter With Gojee
You know the benefits of eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. But knowing how to prepare those less-familiar foods may be another story. Gojee.com helps you put new ingredients to good use. Take a few seconds to type in your dislikes or allergies, and the ingredients you have on hand. The site then serves up recipes pulled from top food bloggers across the Web (along with lush photos guaranteed to whet your appetite). That slightly intimidating bunch of chard could become a swiss chard gratin; a curried red lentil, swiss chard, and chickpea soup; a rainbow chard salad with oranges and cipollini onions; or chard, dill, and feta bundles wrapped in phyllo dough. You can also enter a list of foods in your pantry, and Gojee will try to find a recipe that incorporates the bulk of them. Goodbye, lone carrot in the bottom of your vegetable drawer. Hello, home-cooked deliciousness.
More Ways to Eat Well
From the March 2012 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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