Foodzy: Food Guilt For The Information Age

Puh-lease. We needed another consumer gaming site as much as we needed someone else to yak at us about eating better. And now, thanks to a new site called Foodzy, we have BOTH–all rolled up into one fat tootsie roll of post-Michelle Obama guilt.

Foodzy is a website that rewards you with badges for eating healthy foods. When you sign up, you input your age, weight, height, country of residence and other vitals. Every time you eat something (say, Village Whiskey’s duck fat french fries with Sly Fox cheddar sauce), you report it to the site, which then spits out information like nutritional content and how it’s contributing to your weight loss or gain. You know, just like your annoying cousin Rhonda who’s perpetually relying on Weight Watchers to help her vanquish her ass fat.

If you register for the free version, you can track your caloric intake and output – measured in a Foodzy currency called “bits” — for 30 days while getting treated to little hints like, “It looks like you haven’t eaten any grains or vegetables today. Be sure to add some to your diet.” If you drop $15 for a year-long subscription, you can set long-term fitness goals and measure your successes and failures (“failures” — see duck fat fries, above).

Just like on Facebook, you can see a running list of what others are doing–or, in this case, eating. But the difference here is that these aren’t your friends. They’re not even people you haven’t seen since middle school. They’re complete strangers. You don’t care about their jobs, their kids or their mistresses. So why do Foodzy’s creators think you care about their food?

What’s more, it’s an international site so, in many cases, you don’t even understand what it is they’re chewing. Because the site contains mammoth lists of country-specific comestibles that allow you to choose say, a cheesesteak (you can’t tell us that protein and dairy topped with root vegetables isn’t good for you), some dude named Rinus R. (an actual user) is bragging about mauling “Appel Met Schil (middelgroot)” which we assume to be some sort of fruit because there’s an apple icon next to it.

Soon, you’ll be able to compute your calories from an app on your mobile device so we recommend hiding it in your briefcase before trips to Miel Patisserie. The site does have a sense of humor, though, as evidenced by the badge you earn for eating cake on your birthday … though we suspect it won’t look favorably on your tradition of spending the week leading up to your big day gorging yourself at Max Brenner.

The site was created by some folks in Amsterdam, who probably dreamed up the idea while slouching in a coffee shop, twisting up a fat roll of a different sort. “Hey, Hans. Wouldn’t it be funny to see how much weight we gain from ze munchies, ya?” Sure, it would be funny. Except for one thing: Hans and his programmer buddies are so focused on calculating the bits they’re getting off a hash brownie, they’re too distracted to keep the site from crashing every time a user (us) tries to load a page. Out of frustration, we’re passing the minutes by munching a cold slice from Lorenzo’s. And you know what? We’re not going to tell Foodzy.

Foodzy [Official website]