You probably already use your iPhone to get directions, play music, or look up movie times, but did you know you could use it to track your food from farm to fork? 

Iphone applications have quite a bit to offer on the food front. If you’re in St. Louis and you must know where the closest Filipino restaurant is, iWant, Urban Spoon, or Yelp applications can help you in a jiffy. You can also use iPhone apps to find an open table at a nearby restaurant, track calories and ingredients, or calculate your tip. 

As more stories emerge about the complexities and risks of the globalizing and highly-processed food supply, more consumers are looking for ways to get more information about the food on their plates and there are a couple of promising apps that help meet this growing demand. 

A Guide to Food Safety iPhone Applications: Today’s Featured App: Breadcrumbs

Here are Food Safety News’ must-see food safety apps: Breadcrumbs, HarvestMark, Food Watch New York, Still Tasty, Locavore, and Good Guide. We’ll be featuring each one over the coming days.

Breadcrumbs: Follow Your Food From Farm to Fork

IBM is launching an app called Breadcrumbs to give consumers more information about common items in the grocery store.

breadcrumbs iphone app.jpg

Think Hansel and Gretel–only instead of trying to find your way back home, you’re trying to figure out where your peanut butter was manufactured.

The app will scan barcodes and give you an instant summary of ingredients as well as the details of where and when your food item was produced–and the Breadcrumbs database will include recall information, allowing consumers instantly determine whether or not certain products are involved, instead of going to the FDA or USDA websites and looking up recalled lot codes.

How it works: The app uses the phone’s camera to “scan” the barcode by taking a picture and reading it.

According to Read Write Web, a popular technology blog, “Breadcrumbs is a glimpse of what we’ll see in the near future, when information will literally–finally–be at the consumer’s fingertips when they’re shopping for groceries or any other goods where data is plentiful.  Up till now, data such as product recall information has largely been inaccessible to consumers–at least when at the grocery store.”

Breadcrumbs has the potential to change they way you shop for groceries. Look for it in the near future, available at the iPhone app store. Once the app is launched, it will be a free download.