Home-Ec 101

Consumely is an app that will let you track your food purchases to avoid wasting food. That sounds like a good idea. As the developer Zeeshan Sheikh points out, there are all kinds of reasons not to waste food. Food isn’t free, of course, so if you’re buying it and not eating it, you’re wasting money, right?

But that’s only the personal impact. As Sheikh reminds us, there are less fortunate people out there:

It was not until we ran into a homeless and hungry family on the street asking for some food for their children that we started feeling guilty about throwing away food that went bad or might have gone bad…

This is what brings the whole thing home. There are people going hungry. We cannot let this social injustice go unaddressed.

We need an app.

It should have a trendy name where you take a word and add -ly to the end to make it sound like a adverb. (Verbs make bad names. Verbs make it seem like you’re actually going to have to do something. Fake adverbs are better; they give you the impression that you’re following some kind of principal of action but don’t get bogged down by questions of whether you’re actually being effective at anything.)

The app should do more than just track our own consumption. It should tell us when, say Wal-Mart has a better price than the local supermarket so we can drive there in our cars and give our money to Wal-Mart, who, as everyone knows, gives it to needy people.

Beyond the inspiring back story about homeless people who have no iPhones to track their daily dumpster finds and the it’s-not-just-an-app-it’s-a-lifestyle name, Consumely (easy to remember – it’s one letter away from contumely) doesn’t seem to be much more than a shopping app mashed with a budget app. But, you know, to help the poor.