How many miles did your lunch travel to get to your plate? Even if we eat organic and fresh, most of us don’t know the origin of our produce, meats and dairy, and we often fail to realize that our food probably spends more hours in transit than we do getting to work. One of 18 Greener Gadgets finalists, the AUG/Living Goods Program is a conceptual mobile phone app that scans product barcodes and then instantly gives the low-down on the producer, how far the food has come, if the product is in season, historical pricing, detailed consumer ratings and your own purchasing history.
The AUG/Living Goods Program aims to promote the localization of “live foods” via a barcode-accessible “Producers” directory. One of its primary goals is to show consumers their local impact every time they make a purchase. Connection is a snap, since consumers can receive all the pertinent info via a smart phone or even through SMS.
The benefits are clear: buying local food reduces our carbon footprint, ensures higher nutritional values, and re-infuses money back into the local economy. Moreover, for the farmer, partaking in the program allows them to market their farming methods (e.g. no pesticides, specialization in certain veggies, etc.) and develop stronger relationships with their distributors and most importantly their consumers.
Providing access to local farm information, the distance goods have traveled, nutritional values, and historic pricing also stands to empower the consumer, allowing them to make much more informed decisions about one of the most essential components of daily life.