One third of the world's resources are used for the global food production. Already today we are using 1.7 times what the planet can recover. It is time to take action. Some foods have a significantly lower environmental footprint than others. Our goal is to raise awareness of food with a large footprint and drive eating habits towards more ecological alternatives.
What it does
The Food Karma app allows its user to scan their shopping receipts to analyze the environmental footprint of their food. The app gives recommendations to reduce their footprint and rewards positive behavior with badges that can be shared on social media.
How we built it
- Django framework with the data on a remote Amazon RDS.
- Dockerized backend application
- Admin interface for the operators, and a
- GraphQL API endpoint enabling rich queries from the frontend.
- Modeled the data structure that has to be present in a database
- Sketched out sample workflows and their visual appearance
- Implemented a ReactNative based application
- Implemented a Django backend for data management and retrieval
- Connected the ReactNative app with the Django backend via GraphQL statements
- ReactNative-based app: React-navigation for tab and stack-based navigation, camera integration and an Apollo-based GraphQL connection to the back-end server.
Challenges we ran into
- Provided data is very sparse
- Setting up ReactNative apps is rather time-consuming
- Actually doing precise OCR of receipts would be a project on itself
- Lack of real data (populated DB with randomized mock data)
Accomplishments that we are proud of
- Successfully connected the ReactNative app via GraphQL with the Django backend
- Created a working prototype that shows the idea
What we learned
- Data that would help with evaluating/improving sustainability is hard to come by (for free)
- Sustainability is a difficult topic
What's next for Food Karma
In the future, we envision a digital collection of food information via payment schemes, supply chain information (blockchains) or from merchants to improve the data quality and user experience. Recommendations for substitute products could be linked with discount coupons. Ecological food consumption could be rewarded with a reward scheme in the form of a blockchain-based token. The tokens could be accepted by shops as a means of payment, either financed via charity or as a customer acquisition scheme by merchants. Ideally, a karma credit card would automatically collect rewards for environmentally friendly shopping baskets.