The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Picking the best in-season produce with the lowest pesticide levels or purchasing the most sustainable seafood at the local farmers market can be a challenge. Here are 11 apps that help increase the impact of each market visit for buyers and sellers alike.
Dirty Dozen. Free. Published by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research organization. This app focuses on which types of conventionally raised produce are the lowest in pesticides and which types are the highest. Lists include the Dirty Dozen, like apples, spinach, and grapes, and the Clean Fifteen, like sweet corn, asparagus, and cantaloupe. The app helps decide when finding an organic alternative is especially important. The Dirty Dozen Plus, an expanded app, includes a list of hot peppers and leafy greens.
Farmstand. Free. The app lists more than 8,700 farmers markets around the world and connects shoppers with markets for locally grown food. It supports local communities by supporting linking users to each other by allowing them to take and post pictures of markets and vendors, alert others to great finds, and browse information posted by fellow market-goers. Markets can be sorted by location and opening times.
Good Guide. Free. A wide-ranging shopping app that includes everything from produce to pet food, the Good Guide rates products and producers according to their health, environmental, and social benefits. In the case of fresh produce, dairy, and meats, items can be sorted using filters such as organic, vegan, and specific nutrition aspects (low sodium, etc.). The app can be tailored to highlight shoppers’ personal requirements.
Harvest. Paid. The app provides a list of pesticide levels on fruit and vegetables and instructs shoppers on methods for picking the best and ripest piece in-season produce, from shaking blueberries to knocking on watermelons. It also provides information on the best means of storage for different kinds of produce.
HarvestMark Food Traceability. Free. Participating fruit, vegetable, and dairy brands label their products with a 16-digit HarvestMark code or QR code; shoppers use the app to scan the code, retrieve the product’s harvest information, and give feedback. The app connects food producers with their customers and offers food production transparency.
Locavore. Free. Locavore has a large database of local farmers markets, farms, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), and vendors selling organic produce and in-season foods. It showcases recipes using in-season ingredients and also allows users to tag local sellers, share reviews, and post new finds.
Love Food Hate Waste. Free. Produced by the United Kingdom-based organization WRAP, the app helps shoppers reduce food waste by better organizing their kitchen, cooking, and shopping habits. It helps eaters keep track of what’s in their cupboards, posts alerts where there are duplicate items, highlights recipes for how to best use the food that’s already there, and cuts down on unnecessary purchases.
Seafood Watch (U.S.) / Good Fish Guide (U.K.). Free. Optimized for use in the United States or in the United Kingdom respectively, these two apps help shoppers identify the most sustainable seafood options at the market. Seafood Watch highlights best choices and indicates the options to avoid. The Good Fish Guide uses a traffic light rating system.
Seasons. Paid. The app lists natural growing season data and local availability of hundreds of kinds of produce, from herbs to mushrooms to fruits. It also includes the import seasons of produce, photos, and the location of farmers markets around the world.
True Food. Free. Some countries, including the U.S., do not require mandatory labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This app, created by the nonprofit environmental advocacy organization Center for Food Safety, helps shoppers identify which foods contain GMOs, including dairy products, meat, and meat alternatives.
What’s on my food? Free. Created by the Pesticide Action Network, this app accesses an extensive and up-to-date database of all pesticides used on various kinds of produce. Pesticide residues remain on some fruits and vegetables even after washing. Watermelon in the U.S., for example, can have up to 26 different pesticide residues by the time it reaches market, according to Pesticide Action Network. The app illuminates the health effects of each pesticide, from the relatively benign to the downright dangerous.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."