Great new iPhone app can help you to avoid non-vegetarian ingredients.
For numerous vegetarians and vegans, it is great when a company’s food labels specifically say “contains no animal products” or “contains animal products” — this can save us a bit of time and also, perhaps more importantly, helps us to rest assured that we didn’t miss some animal-based ingredient. Unfortunately, most products don’t have this information on the label.
Well, if you have an iPhone and you are vegetarian, you’ve got a new solution. A new app can scan a food label and tell you if there are animal-based ingredients in it. This is especially useful for letting you know if some obscure ingredient is (or may be) an animal product — there are a lot of ingredients that you may not have realized come (or can come) from animals.
As the video above shows, the process is quite simple. Scan the ingredients label with your iPhone, then see what products come up as non-vegetarian or potentially non-vegetarian, and then you can also see more info on the product if you like.
There are a few caveats at the moment, unfortunately. You actually need a 3GS iPhone to make full use of the app, because you need to have auto focus on your camera to make sure your iPhone can read the photo. Although, even if you don’t have a 3GS iPhone, you can at least access the full database of animal-based products and check ingredients manually (see the video below). Also, to start with, the app only scans additives, so you still need to keep an eye on the main ingredients yourself (for now). Lastly, but for sure not least for some people, the app doesn’t work all that well for Americans or for those in any area of the world that doesn’t use E### for additives. For those living or traveling in Europe, Australia or New Zealand, it is great, but until someone updates the system to search by actual ingredient names not their E numbers, it is not of much use to others.
Looks like a fun and useful app. Wish I had an iPhone (especially a 3GS) for this one!
Image Credit: iTunes