The "Good Guide" (iPhone App Review)

The Good Guide is a fantastic and relatively new application available for the iPhone (also found on the web at This thing is just perfect for trips to the grocery store. Any time you have a question about a product, you just type its name in the search box and voila! Watch out though, once you get the hang of the Good Guide, you can easily spend an hour plus in the personal care aisle alone.

One of my favorite features is the box that comes up telling you about what ingredients to avoid in the particular type of product you just searched for. After a while, you know what to avoid in deodorants, shampoos, face washes, etc.

Hey lets be honest, trying to figure out what bad things are in many of our products is difficult when the list reads like this: fjalsjfpopjsalfj, alkjflkasdjfljasd, ajfldjfadlsjfkliajsjklf, polkay, fa’skdfpokkfas, faffoda,skfioas, fakopsfkpoaskfpo, oakfpoaskfoka, ofafkopkfpodsakpgeoarf, lgjgahfflkjhadjaif, ajfoajisfjaoi;jfagahtjfue, gsliljttoudnhjkaye jshdfkjhfhsskj, ahskdhfakshfkjkadsshni and lawjfisajifo.

You get the picture, right? That is how those ingredient lists look to the lay person, and even to many people like me, who may know more or less what to look for and avoid. It can be totally overwhelming with such long lists of unpronounceable words and such small writing.

Another great feature of the Good Guide is the rating system which includes three categories: Health, Environmental, and Social; all of which usually come with an explanation. Additionally, those categories are combined for an overall ranking. All ranking are done on a scale from 1 to 10 and are also color coded, green being the top tier of course!

If you just want recommendations, the Good Guide has those too. It is quite interesting to see that some of the brands you might associate with as green, actually don’t rank very high at all. Equally interesting is the fact that some of the more common and mainstream brands have recently made changes to include or alter their products to be more in line with the increased consumer demand for healthy, green, and socially-responsible choices. Our decisions really do make a difference, it seems.

If you are curious as to why the Good Guide should be trusted, check them out for yourself, but I can tell you they are advised by a team of doctors. And, no not all products are listed, but over 70,000 are. That’s a pretty darn good start as far as I’m concerned, and I definitely have noticed this number increase since I first started using this application. Their self-proclaimed organizational status is not “non- profit“, but instead is “for benefit,” whatever that means. But seriously, they are linked up with a ton of great organizations like the Environmental Working Group, Healthy Child Healthy World, and Green America.

So, for increased piece of mind, cut out all the guess work and start using the Good Guide, or be prepared to get out your dictionary and a magnifying glass

Doug Cameron

Thank you Lillie Hejl for this great find!!
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