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As more foodborne illness outbreaks continue to come to light, there is growing demand to know more about where foods originate. When you buy directly from the producer, i.e. at the farm or at the farmers market, there’s no need for fancy gadgets, but when that isn’t possible, you might be interested in a little help from your phone.

Thanks to Bill Marler’s Food Safety News for the tip about HarvestMark. Kind of reminds me of the microchip you can use to find your pet. So, there’s Locavore–which helps you know what’s in season near you–and now YottaMark, Inc. aims to demystify the process that brings produce to market with an iPhone app called HarvestMark.  Now you can use your iPhone to trace the origin of those leafy greens you just bought, or are contemplating buying.

How it works: you buy an item with the HarvestMark sticker with a numeric code on it. Then you can go to their website and enter the code located on the product or, just download the HarvestMark application to your phone to access this information before you decide to buy. Here’s what you learn:

which farm was this product grown in
when was it picked
how long it has been in storage
who the middlemen were

TMI? When it comes to learning about where your food comes from, the more the better. And maybe it will help generate even more demand for transparency in food production.