Open Food: Better Choices and Transparent Supply Chains

Open Food: Better Choices and Transparent Supply Chains

Open Food is a term heard around different initiatives providing consumer information about food products to enable them to make better food choices. More transparency in food ingredients, shorter supply chains to fill in the gap between farmers and eaters, or digital cuisine making it possible to create balanced menus, are three of the possibilities around the open food idea. In this post we present three innovative projects using technology to bring information and transparency about what we eat to the consumers.

Open Food Network
The Open Food Network is a free and open source project, originating in Australia and now operating in different countries, which aims to support diverse food enterprises and “making it easy to access local and sustainable food”, as they explain in their website.

Some of the biggest challenges for local food producers are access to information about markets and distribution channels, highlighted in the following introductory video. On the other side, consumers don’t get too much information about how the foodstuff is being produced. This project pretends to encourage local food production and bring transparency to the food supply chain by approaching consumers and fresh food producers and making the chain shorter.

They use an open source platform to put independent food producers and retailers directly in contact with consumers. One of their aspirations is to grow a sustainable food production system collaboratively.



Open Food Facts
Open Food Facts is another collaborative project to provide information about food products. Consumers can get into the website and find nutritional information about different food products to make the best choice by comparing all kinds of food products. The aim of this platform is to help consumers understand nutritional labels or find products without any specific component, encourage companies to produce healthier foodstuff, and provide researchers an instrument to compare data and find if certain substances can be related to diseases.

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The Open Food System Initiative
The Open Food System Initiative is another example of how to use technology to most effectively provide consumer information about food. The French household appliances manufacturer SEB is under this project. Its aim is to develop products and kitchen applications to improve the way consumers approach the preparation of their meals so they have coined the term connected nutrition.

According to the SEB’s Digital Projects Manager François Mayor Olivos, The Open Food System Initiative expects to “go much wider than the product itself, so that people aren’t just buying a piece of equipment”. They intend to bring together equipment and services to create real experiences in the kitchen and help people to create personalized, balanced, and healthy menus.

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