Release Date:August 19, 2009
Summary:This is a reasonably priced app that will help you eat healthier.
So apparently I’m going to die. Well, I knew that of course, but Food Additives by WebArtisan has informed me how: all of the food from the grocery store has potentially dangerous additives that I have concluded will end my life. This hasn’t been substantiated by the app, but my imagination is rife with wild side effects. Dramatics aside, this iPhone app let me in on the little nicknamed secrets that are placed in my “food” with the juxtaposing effects of preserving the food and doing the opposite to me.
As soon as I downloaded Food Additives, I rushed to the cupboard to see some ingredients lists. Safeway brand whole wheat crackers, you shall be my guinea pig! Without boring you with the scientific details, I will cut to the chase and give you the skinny:
Things the app does well
- Provides a database of food additives organized by government issued number, common names, risk level, symptoms they cause, and diet.
- Color codes risk levels to provide instant stress relief/enhancement
- Two full pages of information on each additive that are easy to navigate, which include outgoing links for more information.
I’m a big fan of apps that are self contained. Food Additives is all within your iPhone (or iPod Touch) – with the exception of extraneous links – so you may feel happy to peruse the list of safe and unsafe food additives whilst at the bottom of a well, inside a mineshaft, or under the ocean.
I must commend Food Additives’ design. To pull back the magical curtain of glorification and view the true OZ of this app, it is a static database broken down into cross referencing categories. To make this interesting is a bit of a design feat and I think Food Additives has done a fine job at it using sleek graphics and icons.
As I went down the list of additives in my whole wheat crackers, I couldn’t help but wonder if (a) “whole wheat” was indeed as important to my health as was indoctrinated into my childhood understanding of diet, and (b) if it was going to show up on the ingredients list.
I found most of the additive type ingredients in Food Additive’s list, but also found a good number missing.
Things the app needs work on
- More food additives added to the list
- outgoing links to more reliable sources than wikipedia.com (Anyone can change the information on a post, and yes I know that the changes are reviewed, but I also know that human error can occur in a source that is quickly becoming the next hitchhikers’ guide to the galaxy)
- Search feature
I would assume that when the primary reason for your app is to find information, you would include a search feature. Assumption’s a silly thing. WebArtisan must have been too busy inputing the different lists to create a predictive type search function. I’m not throwing a fit over this because, let’s be honest, if I can’t find what I’m looking for with this app, I’m not looking hard enough. The whole thing is a search feature that requires the user to scroll through the alphabet instead of typing the word in. Yes, this was a bit more time consuming, but only by seconds.
The David Says
This is a reasonably priced app that will help you eat healthier. It may still need the final kinks worked out, but this is not a forgotten app that will go months without an update. We are on version 1.6.2 already! Your list of additives will grow faster than the tumor that sits in the sidecar to your love of sodium nitrate injected ham sandwiches.
So, now you know, and knowing’s half the app. I give this app 4 stars. Why so high? This is an app that is useful and potentially good for the individual/society. Nice design. Outbound links to additional information expanding upon the database found within the app that I can access at the bottom of a well. 450+ food additives with good overviews.