At only 22, I have had a myriad of jobs that have left me with a lot of stories to tell. I have been a Nurse’s Aide, a cashier, a community organizer, an Arts and Crafts teacher, a camp counselor, and many more. The world of work all started for me when I was 13 and I got a job working on an inner city farm. Yes, I said a farm. My mom signed me up for a program called DIG, Durham Inner City Gardeners, which turned into my first part time job. We planted everything from squash to basil and snapdragons, which we would harvest and sell at our local farmers market. DIG gave me more than my first paycheck, but also a vast amount of knowledge about caring for fruits, herbs, and vegetables, and where our food comes from. Nine years later, I’m probably still the best at cutting basil, but I’m also a food justice advocate. I now know the importance of food justice and knowing where your food comes from. Since than I try to make an effort to eat “clean” and buy local. The process of transitioning form relaxed to natural also made me more aware of things I was putting on and in my hair and body. I figured if processed things weren’t good enough to put in my body, they weren’t good enough to put on my hair and skin either.
This focus on living a clean lifestyle has led me to seek out many resources to help guide me along the way. Technology has played a big part in keeping me educated on healthy food and natural body products. In the age of Google, you can find a webpage offering just about anything you want to know, but there are also cell phone and web apps that have been incredibly helpful for me. Its important to know the ingredients in our food and body products, so here are a few websites and apps that have been helping me out.
Fooducate is a website and cell phone app that provides you with information about the ingredients and macronutrients in just about any food you can think of. You can type in anything from Nutella to fresh vegetables. It even provides information for most store brands. You can also scan product barcodes. It rates products on an A-F scale and than provides a justification for each score, including reasons why you should incorporate it into your diet or not.
Skin Deep Cosmetic Database is an awesome app and website developed by Environmental Working Group (EWG). Similar to Fooducate, you can scan or type in most cosmetic products and it provides information about its ingredients. Skin Deep rates products on a scale of 1-10 and lets you know if any of the ingredients have been linked to cancer, allergies, or developmental problems. It’s very useful when I’m in a store trying to decide between shampoos or body washes and I’m unsure of any of the ingredients listed on the back.
Dirty Dozen is EWG’s app that helps guide shoppers through pesticides. It provides a handy list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen, as well as a general guide to buying produce. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the 12 fruits and vegetables that generally have the highest pesticide content, that professionals recommend buying organic. The Clean Fifteen is a list of the most pesticide sparse fruits and veggies that are safe to purchase because they are minimally processed. EWG consistently updates and adds to the list as they continue to do research about pesticides and where our food comes from.
Are there any websites, apps, or other forms of technology that help you live a healthy lifestyle?