Why I invested in TellSpec (What’s in your food?)

I came across TellSpec not long ago on Facebook. After looking into the company, I invested in the company by way of indigogo. I began recommending TellSpec to my friends, and I started to be questioned on “why such a supporter of TellSpec?”
Since then, I have spent some time communicating with the founder and CEO of TellSpec, Isabel Hoffmann. She is pretty amazing, having started 8 companies and negotiating several investment deals and business acquisitions. Her daughter came down with a mysterious disease caused by sensitivity to gluten and other allergens. Inexact food labels made it difficult to find foods that would not contribute to her daughter’s illness. Unable to find a product to help manager her food intake, TellSpec was born. You can read more about Isabel’s story in this TellSpec blog post.
Isabel and I were having a discussion the other day when she asked me to share my story with her, so here is my “Why I believe in TellSpec” story.
My medical journey has taught me a lot about how certain things react with the human body. I have gotten tired of hearing “you are an interesting case” and “there is no apparent reason” from doctors.
I also learned that for weight loss in a diabetic, calories in vs. calories out does not necessarily equate to weight loss. This is partially due to chemical reactions from food and medicines.
The observations I now keep in mind daily are:
  1. Limiting medications, in favor of real food, has health benefits.
  2. I am super sensitive to chemicals and additives in foods, and factors in my environment
  3. You cannot totally trust a food label
The main reasons I am a fan of TellSpec relates mostly to the last 2 items on my list. I want to know what is in my food. TellSpec can tell you what is in your food and beverages, including allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients. It also lets you know about inaccurately labeled foods, and has descriptions of oddball ingredients, like food dyes and what they are made of. It can relate how you feel with the foods you eat, which can help identify food allergies.
Imagine knowing what is in your food at a restaurant. Or if “fresh foods” have chemical pesticides on them. Or environmental toxins, which have been linked to heart defects. It can even read through the packaging.When it measures the food, using a miniature spectrometer, the data is uploaded to the Cloud and run through a proprietary analysis algorithm. The resulting analysis is then downloaded to your smartphone. It is a pretty amazing device.There is a cool video showing the working prototype here.

I believe this device will bring new directions to the “healthy food” or “clean food” world. This, and the team behind TellSpec, is why I stand behind firmly behind the company.

Right now, TellSpec is raising funding for the development and manufacture of the device. You do not get a piece of the company, but for a couple hundred bucks you can get a device (or 2, or 4). You can also get the SDK to develop applications for iOS and Android.

(Another shameless plug: I encourage you to invest, as well, if you care about what goes in your mouth. Only $25 and up.)