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The creation of FoodHunt

Hi everyone! I'm Max, a high school junior living in San Francisco. I have had life threatening food allergies my whole life. I am anaphylactic to dairy, wheat, soy, nuts, eggs, sesame, sunflower seeds, and shellfish. I have navigated many tough and stressful situations, not knowing whether I can eat foods, eating foods I wasn't confident I could safely eat, and talking to countless chefs, waiters and strangers who don't understand the severity of my situation.

Over the years, I have learned to read labels, talk about my allergies, and not let my allergies limit what I do. About a year ago, I came up with an idea to help those with food allergies live a safer life with less stress. I brainstormed many ideas with my family, and decided to build an app called FoodHunt!.

I wanted to create a quick and easy way to know if a food is safe to eat for someone who is allergic or avoids certain foods. While most packaged foods have labels, the ingredient lists are often very long, hard to read, and just a pain to go through. Even the most seasoned label reader misses hidden ingredients. My friends always ask if I can eat something. Often they’ll send me a photo of a label to confirm if something is safe. FoodHunt's scan feature makes it easy. Simply enter your food allergies into the app, scan the UPC barcode on any food, and FoodHunt will let you know whether it is safe to eat. This is not only useful for those with food allergies but also for their friends and family. With the friending feature, you can friend someone with food allergies, and scan foods to see if they are safe for them to eat. The most useful times to use this feature are when grocery shopping, or visiting a friend's house.

The list view in the app displays foods you have recently scanned, foods that other people have scanned for you, and the most popular foods that you can eat. Imagine going to someone's house and knowing ahead of time that foods they have bought for you are safe.

As the app grows, the popular foods list will get better and better, hopefully helping you or the person you know with allergies find many more safe foods to eat.

In this blog I'll discuss what it is like to live with food allergies, recommend allergy friendly foods, and share updates we make to the FoodHunt! app.

I want those with food allergies and the people who shop and cook for them to feel safe, connected and discover new foods.

Thank you for reading!


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