Natural Foods Merchandiser

Q&A with Buster Benson

Q: How do you use the Locavore app?

A: Locavore will tell you not only what’s in season now, but also how much longer it’s in season. Then you can get a link to recipes that include these in-season ingredients. You can also find the nearest farmers’ markets through a map that zooms in on your location, and once you get to know your local markets and become a mini-expert about what’s in season and where you can get it, there’s a way to let others know about recent finds at the markets with a feature called “I ate local.”

Q: Why did you add the social aspect to the Locavore app?

A: Technology works best when it improves our relationship with the world and with each other. Eating locally, it turns out, is a highly social activity. You are talking with farmers instead of going through self-checkout lines. You’re working in a garden and talking with other local gardeners instead of having anonymous food show up magically in your fridge. I wanted Locavore to reflect this social aspect, because I think it makes the whole process much more rewarding.

Q: Are you a locavore?

A: I have to admit that I’m not a hard-core locavore. But I think that the important thing is to do your best to move in that direction.

Q: What do you see as the future of smart-phone applications?

A: Anything we’ve been doing at our computers is already pretty much possible from our little phones, and the ubiquity of these devices is going to open up a whole new world of using technology in more and more social matters. I suspect that these applications will be more aware of our surroundings than we are. We’ll be able to make even smarter choices about our diets and our desire to live in a sustainable world.

–Interview by Pamela Bon

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