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What in the World are You Eating?

What in the World are You Eating?

While we may endlessly talk about, debate, and cast judgment upon certain foods, one thing we never stop doing is actually eating. As I write this, thousands of muffins, bagels, hot dogs, energy drinks, and (hopefully) pieces of fruit are being consumed out there in the world. There exists a whole subset of mobile apps, blogging tools, and intrepid individuals that document what people are eating on any given moment of the day. Most of these tools exist to make eating (especially eating out) a more social experience (as in, “check out this awesome bowl of pho!”) or providing some sort of critique of the dining experience (i.e. “these cupcakes are supremely overrated.”). Either way you slice it, people are logging and photographing what they eat and making, what used to be a fairly solitary practice, into something that is open for amusement, interpretation, and evaluation.

One very interesting mobile app that recently surfaced is an app called The Eatery, from an organization called Massive Health. The app, which looks a lot like all of the other apps in which the user is encouraged to document/photograph nearly everything they eat and share with the untold masses, is actually different in one particular respect. One particular focus with this app is rating whether foods are “fit” or “fat” which can be a highly subjective designate, and then that information is compiled and laid out in (almost) real time in this groovy interactive visualization of a planet of eaters (see here).

If nothing else, it is fascinating to see how, throughout the course of the day, the perceivable nutrition and wholesomeness of what we eat drops dramatically. You can see this by the changing splotches of red, yellow, and green that indicate degrees of health. It is no surprise that the United States, and especially middle-America, edges toward the unhealthy (more so than the rest of the planet) as the day moves into night. Here are some other interesting factoids, as assembled by the Massive Health website:

• The healthiness of our meals decreases by 1.7 percent every hour of the day.
• New Yorkers drink 6.7 times the amount of coffee that people in other cities do.
• People are 57 percent more likely to be obese if their friends are obese.

Do you feel there is any true value in sharing this sort of documentation, or do you feel what we eat should not be subject to such cursory evaluation? Is crowd sourcing nutrition a valuable way of promoting good nutrition?

Read more: Basics, Blogs, Diet & Nutrition, Following Food, Food, , , , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

23 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting-did not know what a bowl of Pho was, sounds very tasty.
Nothing wrong with photographing foods that we eat, that goes on in food groups on Flickr all the time be it French cooking or Comfort Foods.
Have not bothered getting an app for this however!

1:51PM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

My recent experience has led me to believe that older people do not like to change their unhealthy diets and are not even curious about trying common supermarket foods they haven't tasted beforehand eg "We never ate that when I was a kid." (meaning most vegetables).
I don't understand older people, or any people, who are not interested in eating healthily and don't consider the health of our earth (the consequences of factory farms, animal abuse, chemical use, GMOs and fish farms)

8:32PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Thanks for info.

5:22PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

We eat what ever the market place provides for us, plain and simple. Each individual must consider the effects of market place foods and what that will have upon them. Therefore each individual must choose wisely based upon well informed sound knowledge.

3:26PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Thanks.

1:55PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Don't need an app to tell me how to eat healthy. Good old-fashioned common sense works just fine.

12:43PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Look people get real, you eat what is right. Ok.

12:15PM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

don't do APPS

11:53AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

I don't own a thing that has an "app" button on it, so I guess I won't be checking out this site.

8:45AM PDT on Apr 25, 2012

Alot of Americans just eat to be eating-healthy or not.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

heartwarming! thanks for sharing

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.

I like to help people everyday it works !!!

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