IBM Debuts Food Traceability iPhone App

IBM is soon to release its’ new iPhone App, Breadcrumbs, which will provide consumers with information on the food products they buy, including a list of ingredients, when the food product was manufactured and any related recall information.

Is that going to be enough to interest the average consumer? What about safety standards and compliance? At minimum, PTI requires the name of the manufacturer (think “in-store” brands… Wal-mart does not manufacture their “Great Value” food products), address & phone number of the facility, commodity ID, net contents and country of origin labeling.

What about images of the manufacturing facility? Take this image of one location of Peanut Corporation of America. You’ll recall that PCA was the source of the peanut salmonella outbreak that led to the illness of hundreds and billions of dollars in damages throughout the food chain. What is your first impression? Do you think this facility looks especially clean, sterile, innocuous? It looks pretty shabby to me.
pca image.jpg

And then let’s consider factory-farmed animals – chicken for example. If you knew the packaged chicken you bought from your local grocer was most likely produced in the conditions depicted below, wouldn’t you think twice about buying that brand? I have seen plenty of chicken farms and have learned that not only are free-range chicken healthier, the meat tastes so much better as well. The same could be said for beef, pork, & lamb.

factory farming chicken blog 2.17.09.jpg

So to what information would you, as a consumer, want access when choosing the food that will go in to your mouth? Join the discussion @ LinkedIn under the Smarter Food Supply Group. Feel free to e-mail me at with your thoughts and suggestions. I will post the responses next week. I’m looking forward to your input!

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