Creating a Food ID for Better Health

Elmer Thomas
2 min readOct 9, 2014


I have written down this idea in hope that someone will create it ☺

Given the following inputs, I want to expose data (via a Food ID API, which I would like to include in a Personal API) to make smarter eating and exercise decisions on demand:

  • SMART health goals (e.g. weight, energy level)
  • Diet strategy (e.g. Paleo)
  • Current measurements (e.g. weight, calories consumed, calories expended)
  • Location
  • Ingredients on hand
  • Medical information (e.g. allergies)

With this data in hand, I want the following scenarios to be possible:

  • When I’m in a grocery store or farmer’s market, I’d like suggestions on what to buy that would then automatically be fed into recipes for that coming week.
  • I’d like menu suggestions at nearby restaurants. If restaurants had APIs revealing nutrition data, this would be easy.
  • I want reminders to exercise, with specific suggestions based on location and equipment on hand.
  • I’d like recipe suggestions when at home based on time available and ingredients on hand that conform to my diet strategy.

Are there any apps or services that you are using today that accomplish any of these scenarios? For me, the key will be automation. For example, I love using LoseIt to track calories, but I hate entering the data, even though it only takes seconds.

If you decide to build this, please sign me up as a beta tester ☺

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Elmer Thomas

Developer Experience Engineer @SendGrid and Septalingual Member of the Maintainerati.