What is Trash Panda?
Trash Panda is a free app that empowers users to learn about the ingredients in their food.
Why the Name?
Trash Panda is a nickname for raccoons! In the wild, raccoons eat a delicious omnivorous diet of nuts, berries, worms, snails, eggs, insects and even frogs! In modern, urban environments however, they often sift through garbage.
Trash pandas represent the environmental and economic challenges at the heart of our mission. Our goal is to crowd out the garbage presented to us when we're foraging for food (aka grocery shopping) and that starts by being able to identify the trash, buy the good stuff, and as a result, make quality foods available to everyone.
How do I get the App?
How do I find a Product in the App?
There are two options to find products - by scanning the product barcode to look it up, or searching by keyword to find results. When searching by keyword, you can get results by entering the product name, brand name, or food category (cereal, pasta, etc).
How Does Product Scanning work?
Find the product barcode, and hover over it in the scanning section to automatically scan the barcode. If the product is found, results should display for the product immediately. If not, you'll be prompted to capture a photo of the ingredients list - simply take a photo of the ingredients text, and submit the photo to see insights on any harmful or questionable ingredients.
How Do You Rate Ingredients?
We identify "Potentially Harmful" ingredients based on research that has identified poor health outcomes as a result of their consumption. These ingredients may be considered safe in the quantity consumed for most people, but we think everyone has the right to be aware of the potential negative affects of these ingredients on their health, both in the short term and in the long term.
"Questionable" ingredients have not necessarily been proven harmful in scientific studies, but are ingredients you may want to be aware of in terms of total consumption - (like sugar, for example), or ingredients that are not whole food ingredients, but haven't yet been studied enough to be proven harmful. We want you to be aware of these ingredients, but are not recommending that you avoid them entirely.
The reason we categorize "Added Sugars" separately is due to the multitude of names sugar can have nowadays. These added sugars are incorporated into food during processing and should be taken into consideration. While we're not suggesting complete avoidance, it is well-established that excessive consumption of added sugars can contribute to various health problems and illnesses.
It's important to note that our recommendations on potentially harmful and questionable ingredients may change as new scientific research becomes available. Our knowledge of health and nutrition will continue to evolve with the latest in evidence-backed research, but we always recommend that you consult with your doctor about any health related concerns or questions.
How do I Submit a New Product to the App?
If you scan a product barcode that's not available, then capture the ingredients as described above, this data will automatically be submitted to the app so that a new product can be created. We ask that you please submit a photo of the front of the package as well. As soon as this information has been captured, we'll have it in our databased and will approve it as soon as possible to make it available in the app to all users.
I'm shopping online - can I still use Trash Panda to check products?
Absolutely! If you're using your computer or another device, simply scan the barcode from the product image on the screen to get Trash Panda insights. Alternatively, you can search for the product by keyword.
Is the App Free?
The app is 100% free to use for all product scanning and ingredients information. We do offer an optional Trash Panda Membership which provides access to our favorite products via curated shopping lists. Also with the Membership, you can indicate your dietary restrictions, and the app will promptly flag ingredients that may include gluten, dairy, and other restricted items. This Membership helps to support Trash Panda and our mission to share ingredients information and quality food with everyone, but is not required to use the app.
What does it mean to be a Trash Panda Insider?
Trash Panda Insiders are a community of people who believe in the Trash Panda mission and are interested in receiving additional content via our weekly newsletter which includes information about food quality, harmful ingredients, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Insiders get special access to Trash Panda offerings - things like first access to app updates, and opportunities to participate in giveaways and other exciting perks. Best of all, it's free to join! If you're interested, sign up here.
I'm Experiencing an Issue With the App - How do I report it?
Please use the hovering feedback button in the app to submit your feedback along with any photos or videos that may be helpful for us to troubleshoot. Alternatively, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, concerns, or thoughts. We'd love to hear from you!