There is a common trend among young adults that they do not know how to cook or know how to make a meal with ingredients or leftovers in their fridges. They tend to eat out regularly, which can end up being expensive and unhealthy. Our proposal is to design an interactive system that addresses the problem of food waste and that educates users on not only how to make a healthy meal with simple ingredients they already have but also, offer
solutions for alternative usage of certain ingredients.
Blue Ribbon Foods is a mobile application that will improve the quality of eating at home. Having “scraps” of food and/or random ingredients may seem undesirable but with the help of this application, users can find recipes or different uses for these ingredients. The need for this application relies on user’s desire to: save money, eat healthy, have convenient/fast meals,
restrictions on food waste, and the notions of independence making your own food provides.
The users of this application are post-secondary students, ideally students living on their own and primarily independent, with little to no knowledge about cooking. This application is heavily dependent on user participation. Students will be able to enter/select the ingredients they have on hand and find a recipe of their liking. Recipes will meet requirements set by the
student such as portion size.
Blue Ribbon Foods will be designed to meet user needs. Students in particular want convenient, fast, and healthy options for eating. Often, students are faced with the dilemma of eating out or painfully preparing a meal for themselves. Addressing this user pain is the goal for Blue Ribbon Foods. Additionally, the long term goal for Blue Ribbon Foods is to enhance social interaction among students. By confidently preparing food for themselves and eventually their friends and family – they will no longer have to settle for going out to eat, as many may indulge in this activity to spend time with friends and meet new people. Our observations with users will potentially give us an insight to the patterns of users and address these needs with our solution.
Another complementary feature by Blue Ribbon Foods is the ability to offer an alternative to use specific ingredients. For example, if recipes are not preferred or ingredients are not intended for consumption use, then recommendations on how the ingredients can be used in other ways are suggested. Other uses of certain food items can include creating fragrances with peels, using leftover lime and lemons in cleaning solutions and potentially instructions on how to compost.
The development of our design will be based on participant observation into the needs and routines of our users. We are interested in their current interactions when they prepare a meal. We hope to gain insight into what features would be most helpful to them and how we can go about designing a solution that will work with their busy lives.