Back in 2010, I wrote about a website called Where is My Milk From? Using the lookup function on that website, a user can enter the Plant # code from just about any commercial dairy product and find out which diary it was produced at and the actual location of that dairy. The only drawback is that you need to be at your computer to use it - fine for looking up the stuff in your refrigerator, but not as helpful when you're in the supermarket checking out the store brand yogurt and wondering who actually made the stuff.
If you have an Android device, you can now do that lookup right in the supermarket as you shop, with the Where Is My Milk From? app. It's awesomely easy to use and provides you with a bunch of info. Search on a Plant # code and you'll instantly get the dairy name and location; click for more info and the app will display the processor name, city, products they make, and even a Google map with the location.
I spend a lot of time in the supermarket reading labels. I want to know what's in the food I buy, but I also want to know where it comes from - especially when it comes to dairy foods because I try to buy New England-sourced dairy products whenever I can. It's also useful to find out where generic products are from. Recently, for example, ShopRite was running a sale on their own house brand of Greek-style yogurt. I was able to run the code through the app right there at the dairy case and find out that the yogurt was made by HP Hood at a facility in upstate NY. That was good news to me, because Hood is based in New England - in Lynnwood, MA - and has local processors in neighboring Agawam MA and Suffield CT. And just as importantly, they're a processor that I and my family have trusted for years.
The Where Is My Milk From app costs 99 cents from the Android App Marketplace, and I think it's well worth it. I found it almost by accident - I was in the store looking at a container of sour cream, wishing that I was at my computer so I could look up the code number on the tub, when it suddenly occurred to me that the website owners might have turned it into an app. When I checked...there it was! I'm happy I have it installed.
Link: Find the app right here.