Do you have a food allergy? Follow a specific diet? Enjoy eating out? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’ve got an app for you.
Back in 2004, I chose to incorporate an elimination diet into my rheumatoid arthritis plan. At the time it was extremely rare to find a restaurant that had any idea of what “gluten free” meant. I remember the thrill when restaurants started offering items marked as “gluten free” on their menu. It felt like someone finally got me. As we found restaurants that catered to my diet restrictions, we clung to them like a best friend. We have driven more than 30 minutes to find gluten free pizza. (Yes, I have the best family in the world.) Whenever I discovered a new restaurant with foods I could eat, I quickly shared with my ever growing group of friends who were also eliminating foods for health reasons. Word of mouth was all we had. That has all changed.
I have been asked to look at DineSafe, which is an app that describes itself - while using the app, a person is able to customize his/her allergies or food restrictions to dine out safely, something many of us have been dreaming about for years. The DineSafe app benefits both restaurants and consumers and best of all is FREE to both. DineSafe allows restaurants to share up-to-date and accurate food choices that accommodate a long list of allergens such as dairy, egg, nuts, gluten and more. Plus, you can easily find meals for specific diet plans such as GMO free, vegetarian, vegan, raw, and paleo. Gone are the days of going to a restaurant, searching for something….anything… on the menu that you can eat, and then crossing your fingers that all your hard work hasn’t gone down the drain because the food is contaminated. Many times when we are on a road trip, I would prefer not having to worry about packing food for 12 hours. This app is nice for not only finding my personal food allergens of gluten/dairy free, but also to find organic foods along our route. If you eat Kosher, the DineSafe app helps you find those restaurants too. There is a little something for everyone. My daughter and I are planning a trip to Colorado this month so I will be using this app to find restaurants that fit my dietary restrictions before we leave. Knowing what foods are available to me beforehand is a better guarantee that I will stick to my food plan. I will definitely use this app when I am out and about in an unfamiliar area and need food since this app also uses your GPS location to find restaurants near you. The part of the app I love the most is that as more restaurants are added, users will be able to endorse restaurants. Not only does this let the user know they are entering a food safe environment but also that the food was found desirable by other diners which prevents wasted money on food. This benefits those of us looking for allergen free food but also gives a high-five to the restaurants that are helping us eat well.
The US has not yet followed the UK and Europe in passing laws that provide full disclosure about the allergens found in restaurant/take-out food, so why not let restaurateurs get the ball rolling and make sure we are eating as safely as possible?
*This is a sponsored post. While the thoughts and opinions are my own, I was compensated.