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New Feature: Photo Slide Show of your Culinary Creations!

November 23rd, 2010

A recent article in the New York Times profiled the growing popularity of photographing your food. “Keeping a photographic food diary is a growing phenomenon with everything from truffle-stuffed suckling pig to humble bowls of Cheerios being captured and offered for public consumption,” the article explains.

Because of this, we wanted to create a way for users to easily scroll through magnified photos of their culinary creations. By clicking on one of your images, you can scroll through them as you would your facebook pictures.

Screen shot of photo slide show on desktop browser

The photos can also offer some added motivation. “It’s definitely part of my neuroticism about trying to keep thin,” says Javier Garcia, the neuroscientist profiled in the NYTimes article. “It keeps you accountable because you don’t want to have to see that you ate an entire jar of peanut butter.” He began photographing his foods after he lost 80 pounds.

Screen shot of photo slide show on iPhone app

We believe it is very important for people to cook more of their foods and eat less pre-packaged “food like substances” as Michael Pollan likes to say. Having the ability to scroll through your photos will allow you to display your cooking prowess, as well as improve your ability to estimate serving sizes using PhotoCalorie.

Once you have snapped a photo of your food, now comes the hard part: telling us what you ate and how much of it you ate. Much research has shown that people have terrible trouble estimating their portion sizes. So because of this, we give examples of food sizes in the palm of your hand to help you estimate:

The foods in our database are all standardized to one serving size specific to the food type. If you search for a food and don’t specify serving size, it will return the default serving sizes (most of which shown above. Click here to learn more about our serving sizes)

In the example above, my chicken breast seems approximately twice as large as the example, meaning I would type: “Grilled chicken breast *2,” which means 6 oz of chicken breast. The broccoli and rice each seem to be about the same size as the photos, or 1 cup each. Therefore the search query for this meal would be “Grilled chicken breast*2, rice, broccoli.”


One search returns the nutrition for the 3 foods combined. No drop down menus to scroll through or strange units to convert.

We hope you enjoy our progress! In our next blog post, I will describe our other recently developed feature: sharing your journal with others.

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Larry Updates, iPhone app

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