Counting calories is an extremely time-consuming and often-stressful job. There is nothing I dread more than having to calculate my food and beverage intake on a daily basis.
But wait,”there’s an app for that.”
In an email interview with Naomi Lang, a Harvard student and current intern at Bon’App, we discover the function, history and potential benefits of using Bon’App.
Spoon (S): Tell us about Bon’App. What is its function?
Naomi (N): Bon’App aims to improve the quality of life for people worldwide by providing a tool geared towards healthier eating habits. It comes in the form of an Apple and Android app, as well as a website you can log into and use online. Bon’App allows users to create an account and track their food intake and diet. Bon’App also has a blog, which provides people with healthy recipes and nutrition facts. Lastly, Bon’App is all over social media, with Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter accounts where photos and info are posted on all things food related.
S: When and why was Bon’App created, and who is its creator?
N: The concept of Bon’App emerged in 2009 when Laurent Adamowicz, a serial entrepreneur and former food industry executive, was writing a thesis on the socio-cultural anthropology of food at Columbia University. Invited to join the Advanced Leadership Initiative in January 2010, Laurent first created a study group with faculty and students from the five Harvard schools in the program to launch the project, then incorporated Bon’App, Inc. as a company in May 2010. Working with a team specializing in nutrition, public health and social media from several Harvard graduate schools and a highly experienced Board of Advisors, Bon’App was designed to be an effective tool to help users manage a healthier lifestyle with a simple approach: Find out what’s in your food, then act upon that knowledge to pick the healthier option!
S: What specific foods can Bon’App break down the calories for?
N: Bon’App allows you to search for any food item you want! You can search for an apple, a type of apple, a branded apple pie at the grocery store or dried packaged apples. Bon’App covers 95% of all foods at a supermarket, branded or not, and is also available for many restaurant chains.
S: What impact has Bon’App had on college campuses?
N: Bon’App has created the group, CFI: Campus Food Investigation, which has brought ambassadors from 16 U.S. colleges (Harvard, Brown, UCLA, Vassar, Tufts, UC Berkeley, Cal Poly, U Penn, Boston College, HULT, Tulane, Simmons College, Northeastern, Wesleyan, Babson and Boston University). We hope to continue to expand to more Universities. CFI has enabled students to connect and communicate with one another about what they like and dislike about their dining hall food options and has opened up the conversation for what and how this food could be improved. As more Universities become involved, CFI is hoping to open chapters within college communities that would serve as the student voice for campus food and nutrition changes and hopefully result in dining menu improvements.
Need more search-inspiration? Find the top food searches at Bon’App here.