Unhealthy food decisions are typically made due to lack of money, time, or knowledge as to what is near. Many people may pick fast food options that are not healthy, which over time, presents health issues the city later will need to handle.
We want to solve this issue by creating a product to help people find affordable and healthy food nearby. Within the NYC BigApps contest, we've created a healthy food venue database (groceries, farmers markets, etc.), as well as the location-aware web application "Healthy Food Compass", which both serves personal information to the user and operates as data collector tool (crowd-sourcing).
Current Prototype: http://www.healthyfoodcompass.com
Our application receives the user's geolocation, and gives food venue options to the user. Once the end user decides, they are able to find out more information (accessibility, EBT acceptance, etc.). The user is able to see location popularity, as well as average reported prices of typical foodstuffs (apple, bananas, etc.) so consumers are able to gut-check the average cost of the products. This is a mobile web app, and is built so that additional featuresets may be added later.
Additional featuresets could include: accessibility in particular healthy food venues; a responsive mobile/desktop web app; multiple language capabilities; generated content to incentivize excitement of healthy foods, or our data trends found within the app; integration with Instagram to show user-generated pictures; etc.
We are not simply aggregating data - we are also generating data. Crowd-sourced data regarding real-life price points will be integrated with an API, taking the SNAP database and NYC farmers' market/greenmarket databases for geolocation targets, and crossing it with contextual information from Foursquare for each geolocation target (opening hours, popularity, etc.). We can also provide feedback to improve food venue databases.