I’ve often written about the fact that eating the freshest, local and seasonally-relevant foods can make cooking easier: better quality ingredients = better flavor with less work. But finding local and seasonal foods can be challenging for people who aren’t dialed into the nuances of the growing seasons and the best sources for the amazing local products that surround them. Fortunately, there are numerous apps available for iPhone and Android devices that provide an easy solution. I’ve dubbed around with several of them on both platforms, and the one I recommend most is Locavore, obtainable at both the Apple App Store and Android Market and, as of this writing, available for precisely no money whatsoever. That’s my kind of price.
Locavore is a slick little app with several features that streamline your efforts and make it easy to get the info you need. When you allow it to use your current location, Locavore will show you what’s in season and how much longer you have to get it. Right now in Maine, it tells me that we have two weeks before our pea season is done and we have over a month before blueberries are past. So what? Well for one, I can make my game plan. I’m an avid food preserver, and I like knowing that I only have two more weeks before I have to (or can) stop stuffing my belly full of fresh peas. Similarly, I can travel to another state and Locavore will help me make sure I’m not gorging myself on local tomatoes when the tomato season passed a month ago and I’m eating “local” hydroponic fruit out of a greenhouse in an industrial park on the edge of town.
The app also shows me a map with the locations of many different sources for local produce and meats in my area. When I click on the location pin, the app will display the business name, address and phone, the number of miles from my current location, and the types of products they sell. Click on the “Directions” button on the listing, and the navigation app pops up and gives me driving directions right to the business. Talk about dumb easy!
Locavore gives you instantaneous access to the most up-to-date information about the seasonal local products in the area you’re in. So whether you’re looking to support your local ag economy (or the economy of your vacation destination), make dinner for friends with the freshest ingredients, or choose the best snack to take with you as you travel home from a vacation spot, this handy app is the one you need.