Technology affects all of our lives deeply, I know I couldn’t survive without it. But it has enriched my consumption of food tremendously, especially through social sharing, and photo ready devices like the phone have created new environments to eat in as well as help me locate them.
Here is an excerpt from an article at Inc.com with a list of the 7 of the most cutting edge ideas affecting our food according to them. My fave is Real Time Farms and I hope it catches on here in Maui. The stickler is we all have to enter the info, the site is not scraping it from anywhere. But having a real live time database to work with would be awesome. I have my fingers crossed that we will all dive in and add some Maui info. Their biggest drawback, I am not seeing a mobile app.
My number two fave on the list is grub with us, it supports IRL socializing over food destinations using the net. Like a tweet up only more foodie. Read them all via the link at the bottom.
How it works: This is a crowd-sourced foodie website showcasing local and sustainable eating options based on location, including a farmers market finder and a restaurant locator to help track down eateries that source locally. You can also search by ingredient to see where its available nearby. The site takes the guesswork out of eating sustainably and aims to let you trace your local food chain from source to plate. “I believe that when people know more about where their food comes from, they are led naturally towards choices that are healthiest for themselves and the environment,” co-founder Karl Rosaen says on the companys website.
Business model: Real Time Farms calls itself a “for-profit social enterprise” with a scalable business model that will allow it to grow. The site charges restaurants $40 a month to have a menu listed.Fun fact: Co-foudner Rosaen was on the team that launched the Google Android platform in 2009. The site also launched a Food Warrior Summer Internship Program who go out and collect data in prime regions of the country such as New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle.
How it works: Somewhere between Meetup and OpenTable, Grub With Us lets you find dining partners based on meals, location, or common interests. For instance, you can find a group of fellow hackers you might want to meet in real life, reserve a spot at the table and pre-pay for the meal. And then you have a family meal with a new group of friends you just met. You might discover interesting new foods too.
Business model: Grub With Us came through Y Combinators start-up incubator program. Grub With Us charges restaurants a fee for the bookings. It works with restaurants to coordinate a meal for the group, but, unlike group deals sites, the meals are not heavily discounted.Fun fact: Grub With Us started with the desire to return to real-life socializing through the Internet. Co-founders Eddy Lu and Daishin Sugano started it when they had trouble making friends upon moving to Chicago to start a cream puff business.
Read all 7 up and coming food tech start ups here:
About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.