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Cell Phone Apps for Foodies

Food and Phones — who knew they went so well together?  Well, apps for smartphones are making the two quite a compatible pair!  There are apps like Yelp that tell you about all the fun and interesting places to eat in a certain location.  You can even look for a specific type of cuisine or restaurants that offer meals within a certain price range.  If you are more of a do-it-yourself foodie, then there are apps that appeal to the chef; from recipes that spark creativity to ones that challenge even the most advanced cook.  Now iPhone has two more apps that should appeal to all those interested in food from the merely curious to the die-hard foodie.  Moving beyond eating or cooking these two apps focus on the food itself.

HarvestMark Food Traceability by YottaMark, Inc. was introduced in February 2010.  While this app is free to download, the service it provides is invaluable.  Basically this app allows you to use your 3G iPhone to scan the HarvestMark code found on hundreds of millions of fresh fruits and vegetables including some brands of bagged salad mixes.  You are given access to a wealth of information about the product such as where it was grown and if there are any safety concerns.  Some of this information was available via the internet, but with the iPhone app you can now have this information at your fingertips in the store prior to purchasing your produce. This kind of traceability gives the buyer peace of mind about the food they are feeding themselves and their family.  On the opposing side, the accountability created by this app should hold farmers to higher standards of production and safety.  This app also gives you the option to leave comments for the growers.  This direct feedback not only gives the consumer a sense of input but provides valuable information to the producers that can lead to better crop development in the future.

Another great food based app for iPhone is Ask The Butcher by Blind Mice Studios.  This app has been out for awhile but was updated in March of 2010 and only costs $1.99 to download.  This app is obviously focused on meats–all kinds of meats.   Ever wonder what the difference is between a loin and a shoulder roast?  Or what’s the best way to prepare a shank:  should you saute, braise, or broil?  Well, this app will make you an expert the various cuts of meats and how to best prepare them.  With Ask The Butcher, you can choose a cut of meat from a list and be given information such as where it is located on the animal, the U.S. name for that cut, cooking times depending on weight, and even professional recipes for preparing it.  Never again will you serve a raw or overcooked piece of meat to your family or friends.   Whether you want to improve your cooking skills or simply increase your knowledge of meat products, this app will serve you well.

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