The best way to monitor our food intake is to start at the source: the grocery store. In order to pick healthy snacks and cook hearty meals, one has to know all the details about the ingredients they plan on using.
Having an cloud-based application that gave people detailed information about foods they are planning on purchasing would help with deciding on healthy food options. The cloud-based application would be available in three formats; mobile web based, SMS-based, and native OS based.
Currently the required data is provided by Data.gov, titled MyPyramid Food Raw Data as three XML files. A REST-ful API interface can be developed to allow interaction via mobile and SMS-based. For mobile web, a visual interface is designed that contains autocomplete and suggestion section. Once they click send, the request is sent via RESTful to the server, which scrapes the XML files for the appropriate data and returns it to the user. The mobile web interface would display the results in a visually pleasing manner.
For the SMS-based method, the user texts the ingredient to a 4 digit number. The 4 digit number re-routes the text message to the server where the XML files are scrapped and the results are texted back to the user.
Lastly ,the OS-based application would contain all the data within the app, and would only require a local scrape of the XML files to display the appropriate results.
Overall, the user should be able to either type in directly the ingredient they want to use, or make advance searches by selection of specified fields (calories, etc)