Want To Scare The Pants Off Some Unethical Companies Like A Boss? There's An App For That.

Matt Orr Curator:

It's no secret that companies pay politicians to write laws that benefit their bottom line. The downside (besides our loss of democracy) is these companies using our money against us by contributing to organizations we don't stand for (I'm looking at you, Chick-Fil-A). Welp, now there's an app for that.

You can download Buycott for free from iTunes or Google Play.

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Narrator: We are here in a supermarket in Lower Manhattan testing out buycott, which is a new app for Android and iPhone. It allows you to scan the bar code on any item in the supermarket aisle and thanks to a very clever developer in California, 26 year old Ivan Pardo, if there are companies, causes, corporations that you're not interested in supporting, you can find out where your money is going and then decide to buy something else.

There are already over 86,000 people who are part of these user-generated campaigns trying to block all these non GMO companies. One of the campaigns trending on buycott, meaning a lot of users are joining it, is Avoid Koch Industries. People don't want to support Charles and David Koch.

They are billionaire industrialist brothers who've given, traditionally, over the years, a lot to right wing candidates and causes. There are a lot of products, day to day products, that you might not be aware of that are tied to Charles and David Koch, and this app lets you see.

As well as Avoid Koch Industries, another campaign that I've joined on buycott to test it out is Demand GMO Labeling. Now, what this does is focus on any company that has donated more than $150,000 to oppose GMO labeling in California. So, in order to shop in any supermarket, you might have a bit of trouble if you're avoiding all these companies, but let's give it a go and see how it works.

We'll go for some diet Pepsi, there, it kind of buzzes when it's scanning. Now, it's telling me I cannot buy diet Pepsi because I'm avoiding this company, and it's telling me that PepsiCo donated over $2 million to No on Prop 37. So, right when I'm in the aisle, I have all the information I could possibly want on PepsiCo, what they're doing.

I can even call them if I'm really irate, tweet them. Their headquarters, if I want to go march on it. I can share this information, and then I can see the family tree. There are a lot of PepsiCo products that I'm going to have to avoid, like Gatorade and Ocean Spray and Dole. I mean, all these everyday foods that are associated with this one company that has, you know, lobbied hard against GMO labeling.

Lest you think this app is all doom and gloom, you can load up buycott to show you companies you're interested in supporting. So in this case, I've joined a campaign that shows me companies that are pro equality for LGBT marriage and issues. These are companies who've either donated to pro equal rights causes or come out publically in support of equal rights.

It's telling me I'm supporting this company because they're for equality for LGBTQ rights. What I can do also is I can now flag it, so next time I'm in a supermarket, it'll tell me that this is a product that I want to buy because I support LBGT issues, and so does the company. As you can see, it's swelling in support, and it's early on, so we shall see if it has any impact on these companies' bottom lines.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Forbes made this video about this kick-ass app that basically makes you a shopping Jedi. Seriously, it'll prevent you from giving money to people who don't deserve it. The inspiration for this post came from following The Food Babe on Facebook. So download Buycott!

Apr 24, 2014

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