Everyone is always saying, “there’s an app for that..and that..and that..” You need someone to do your dishes, or remove all the photos of your ex from your apartment, or even give you a deep-tissue massage at a moment’s notice? There’s an app for that! So why is it that in my food world, there are some serious app gaps? If I were a genius developer, these eight apps would be on my to-do list.
Craving Swapper: I have perpetual unhealthy cravings. Most days, I am silently dreaming of macaroni and cheese or a really thick piece of chocolate cake with rich, Duncan Hines-like chocolate frosting. But it’s probably not a good idea for me to indulge in those kind of cravings all the time. What I need is an app where I enter what I’m craving and then it would hit me back with something to satisfy me in a healthier, more responsible way. For example cauliflower gratin instead of mac and cheese, or a piece of dark chocolate instead of the cake. Or maybe I should just drink some water because I am not actually hungry, I’m just dehydrated?! As with most apps, I’m not saying I’d really follow its advice, but it might stop me in the heat of my deepest, darkest cravings. Maybe.
Take-Out Troll: This app would act as a second-guesser of sorts to talk me off the ledge of a big take out order. I am imagining a plug in for Siri or Cortana that would give her the ability to affectionately remind me that instead of ordering fries or mozzarella sticks (or both), I could easily cook something delicious and healthy at home. An interaction would go like this:
Me: Siri, I am thinking of getting take out.
Siri: But you have all that lovely food from the supermarket that you bought yesterday that will go to waste if you don’t cook it.
Me: I know, but I’m tired! Damn it, Siri, you don’t understand my struggle!
Siri: I totally understand, but you’re spending unnecessary money and I know from your search history that been coveting those jeans from Net-a-porter! Look, I’ve found 5 different one pot dishes that use all the groceries you bought yesterday.(At this point, 5 recipes will show up on my screen). Any of these recipes can be done in 45 minutes and you’ll have enough to take to work the next two days. What do you say? I’ll walk you through them and you’ll have a great dinner in the same amount of time that it’d take to have delivery at the front door. Come on, pal – you can do this!
Me: *sigh* fine. You’re right. Thanks Siri.
Surely this is a programmable possibility?!
The Drunk Dial: Speaking of ordering delivery, I would say that I am at my most fiscally irresponsible when I’m drunk. For example do I really need pizza and pasta AND a milkshake? In the heat of the drunken moment, the answer is certainly yes. But when I see the charge come through on my credit card the next day, I always regret my decision. Spending $80 on great shoes, or paying off a student loan, or scoring tickets to a Broadway show is fine, but spending $80 on a greasy meal that will likely lead to a morning after of Tums is just not worth it. So for this app, I would cue it up at the beginning of what I know is going to be a big night, and it would automatically place a spending limit on deliveries past a certain hour. After midnight, for example, you can set the dial to stop you at $20. As an added bonus, the dial will track just how much you’ve saved over the course of the year. Being technologically savvy and fiscally responsible? Hellz yeah.
Grocery Gamble: There is nothing more fun than a good old slot machine. This slot machine-food-app hybrid would help users cook dinner with whatever they have in the fridge. Simply put in what you have (like broccoli, rice, lemon, and chicken) and the app will generate a delicious recipe with step-by-step instructions.
Conscientious Cookery: So you want to order delivery, but you also want to support local, sustainable, and organic food businesses– what a conundrum! Not anymore with the Conscientious Cookery app, which will direct you to all your local food purveyors aligned with those values. It’ll then have an easy to navigate order form so they can deliver exactly what you want. No stress needed.
Dinner Party Guru: Let me know if this sounds familiar: You’re planning a huge dinner party and you have your menu all set, but you know if you try to cook everything the night of it’s asking for a panic attack. The Dinner Party Guru app will give you all the help you need! Just enter your menu and the number of people who are coming and it will tell you how far in advance you can make everything and create a schedule for you to get it done, synced in with your Google calendar. That means the night of your dinner party, you can actually enjoy yourself rather than having a meltdown in the kitchen while your guests awkwardly entertain themselves.
Compost Buddy: I tried to compost once and I ended up with a pile of rotting leaves and with onions randomly sprouting in the middle. I thought maybe composting was an exercise in patience (not something I have a lot of), so I forced myself to wait over a year to get some beautiful soil. It never happened. All I had was a rotting pile of food, wood chips, and dried leaves. Why isn’t there an app for this?! The Compost Buddy app would serve as a guide for compost newbies like me. Simply upload a picture of your compost pile and it will tell you what you’re missing . Tidbits of advice like: Your compost needs more moisture, you should buy this organic compost product to help the process along (with an auto link to Amazon, of course), or you’re being a crazy impatient person just WAIT – nature takes time. This way, you don’t need to stare at your pile and wonder what’s wrong and hate that it smells so bad and then give up and ruin the planet and hate yourself.
InstaGrocery: How many times have you looked at Instagram and been like, “OMG I need to eat that RIGHT NOW”? Then you see the recipe link in the bio and you’re like “Meh. On second thought take-out sounds way better/easier.” Well, with InstaGrocery, you can click on whatever instagram picture you’re craving and have all the groceries you need for the recipe delivered to your door within the hour. Because we’re allowed to dream.