USDA Offers Free Food Nutrient Info DB

PDA owners with a mind for healthy eating can now pull out their stylus and start pointing their way to nutritious food choices. A handheld version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Nutrient Database listing more than 6,000 food items is now available for download free of charge for Palm OS devices. The searchable nutrient database program will soon be available for download onto personal computers as well.

HealtheTech, Inc., of Golden, CO and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) announced the new capability this week at the American Dietetic Association's annual conference in Philadelphia. The software package has been made available for download from the Internet to users through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement between HealtheTech and ARS Nutrient Data Laboratory, Beltsville, MD.

"It's nutrition in your pocket, at home or at work," Phyllis Johnson, director of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, which manages the nutrient database, said in a statement. And it is available to consumers free-of-charge, as an "e-government service," she added.

"Easy access to nutrient information on thousands of foods provides a new tool to help consumers follow a healthy diet," USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman said in a statement. "Consumer information and education about healthy lifestyles and diets will help advance President Bush's Healthier US initiative."

Assembled by food groupings, the searchable program will allow users to browse a given category by scrolling through foods listed alphabetically. Another option of the program is the "portion modifier" feature. The searchable software program and database-in-one provides information on about 30 nutrients for each food listed in a highly portable and easy-to-access format, just be careful not to spill your lunch on your PDA.

Users can visit this site to download the program. The download takes less than 30 seconds and requires 2 MB of free memory on your handheld. Mac users are instructed to email the lab at for the installation files.

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External Storage

hkklife @ 10/26/2002 10:37:19 AM #
Can this app be run off of an SD card? Being on dial-up, I'd rather not have to download it first to find out, but I may just give it a go...

RE: External Storage
masitti @ 10/26/2002 11:53:37 AM #
Now, lets think realistically. By time someone answers your question, you could have prolly downloaded it and tried it.

Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)
RE: External Storage
Admin @ 10/26/2002 12:08:33 PM #
I can confirm that it will not run off of a storage card at this time. If enough people write to them they may update it.
RE: External Storage
Fzara2000 @ 10/26/2002 12:39:56 PM #
So what would be the point of even having an SD Slot if software developers cannot develope code to fully utilize it?

"Now thats just PRIME!"
RE: External Storage
Admin @ 10/26/2002 12:41:53 PM #
its a matter of programming, developers can make thier apps compatible with storage cards and be able to run applications stored on the cards.
RE: External Storage
abosco @ 10/26/2002 12:53:04 PM #
I find it silly (even though it's freeware) that some companies still decide not to include this feature with their software. We only have (at most) 16 MB of memory to store this stuff in without the aid of external memory. Let's hope they and more companies decide to include external storage compatability in their software in the future.

A good idea on the software, though.

I suport pudlik edicashun.

RE: External Storage
Ben S @ 10/26/2002 10:41:18 PM #

Just load it in PowerRUN.

You still need to have 2MB of RAM free when you want to run it, sure, but if you've got most of your apps loaded to the card, there's no reason you can't have 2MB of RAM free all the time. I have almost 4MB free on my m505 most of the time, and that's with almost 30MBs of app on my SD card.

RE: External Storage
masitti @ 10/27/2002 12:17:16 AM #
I agree with BenS. In fact, PowerRUN works so good, you just load everything on the card. It's the best program I ever used for a storage card, and I highly recommend it.

As for Storage Card, it isn't the programmers job - PocketPC's have been allowing programs on CF/SD cards for years now with no extra programming required by the developer.

If Palm OS would be a little bit more flexible, than it wouldn't be such a problem.

Mario Masitti
O/T Mod
I Love Tennis :)

RE: External Storage
TDS Computer @ 10/27/2002 6:27:02 PM #
This works perfect on my Treo 90 using PiDirect software from I have not tried it using VFS.
I find that Pidirect will run many programs from a memory card that VFS cannot handle, and it launches them much faster.

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RE: External Storage
CharFeld @ 10/28/2002 1:54:03 PM #
Do you still need to have 2 MB free on your palm if you want to run this program with PiDirect?

RE: External Storage
abischof @ 10/29/2002 12:24:26 AM #
Are there any freeware apps that function similarly to PowerRUN? It sounds like a nice products, but I prefer not to pay for software.



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