Vijayaragavan Viswanathan, a scientist with the European Organization for Nuclear Research, resides in the Czech Republic, but he’s no stranger to his native land’s agrarian woes. Growing up in southern India, Viswanathan saw firsthand how limited access to education and basic crop information kept many farmers locked in a cycle of low productivity and poverty. To combat this situation—and capitalize on the fact that India, a nation with 1.2 billion citizens, now has almost a billion mobile subscribers—he developed SmartAgri, an app that communicates with underground sensors to deliver easy-to-understand data, such as soil moisture and mineral levels, to farmers’ mobile devices.
The Future Food Hack, creator Jimmy Tang told Fusion in an email, “aims to create a dialog on the question: how do we envision feeding ourselves in the future?”
Tang’s project may well prompt a discussion about food, but more likely it will spark imaginings of life in a dystopian, survivalist future. His project website presents five DIY kits that give you everything you need to, essentially, hack your food.
Designer Joo-Hee Yun told Fusion in an email that Eat For is a solution to a recurring problem she faced while working in an office: “Among the several daily stressful tasks I had to deal with, selecting what I wanted for lunch was the most difficult.”
Eat For is like Yelp for the health conscious–you can search for foods that are good for your heart, your skin, your nails, etc., specify if you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner and if you want a recipe or restaurant recommendation.
Smartphones and digital networks have made many wonderful things possible. The ability to quickly and consistently reserve a table at a brand-new restaurant like Cosme or Dirty Frenchis not yet among them. But people keep trying to crack that nut. The latest entrant to the fray is called Reserve, and as you’d guess from the name, it allows users to request restaurant reservations within a certain time frame, at which point they see a list of places where a table might be available. The app can also handle payment so there’s no check to deal with after dinner.
It holds your hand every step of the way, double-checking each ingredient’s measurement and warning you to lower the temperature just like Mom used to when you helped with the cookies. Add to that “1000s of recipes” — including non-fried sushi — and a built-in calorie counter, plus the fact that it couldn’t care less whether you eat veggies, and then, well, maybe creator Rahul Baxi is really onto something here.
SRI International, the lab responsible for the technology behind Siri, is developing an app that would let you snap a picture of your food to get an approximate calorie count, Gigaom reports. It would use image recognition to scan the photo and analyze the different components of your meal.
The opportunity to use social media platforms to report and track foodborne illnesses is becoming increasingly feasible as more and more people use social media to discuss the ins and outs of daily life. In April, a few volunteer developers in Chicago launched an app called Foodborne Chicago, which aims to facilitate a connection between the Chicago Department of Public Health and individuals who may have been affected by a foodborne illness.