Tracing the origin of the food in order to avoid buying products from certain producers that are considered unsafe has become a consumers’ target after last weekend protests against Monsanto biotech company’s production policy.
GMO labeling efforts have been stalled in Congress, state legislatures and ballot initiaves. So if we are worried about tracing the origin of the food we buy we cannot wait for a law that we cannot predict when is going to be enacted. The tech industry has watched this and is already offering some food tracker apps for smartphones and other solutions.
One example is Buycott, which lets users scan a product before purchase to see its connections to certain companies. Users can sign on to campaigns to help them avoid the Koch Industries, Monsanto, companies that lobbied against GMO labeling, and many more, or just the opposite, if those are the ones you want to select. The app also shows the network of corporations, exposing the links among apparently unrelated companies.
Other apps dedicated to tracing food back to its source are for example HarvestMark. The app lets shoppers scan a product or type in a label to pull up a full profile of the farm it came from, how it was grown, and whether or not the farm has had any foodborne illness issues.
Applegate, an organic meat company, has started using QR codes to show consumers videos about the farmer that raised their meat. Top 10 Produce, a tracing company, is working with small independent farms to help them promote their products via mobile technology. A shellfish company in Seattle is deploying QR codes to let customers know the origin of each product they buy.
So if you are also worried about tracing the origin of the food to know it is safe you already have some solutions in place while you keep waiting for GMO labeling.