The quagmire of products in the grocery store with potentially confusing nutrition labels and intentionally confusing marketing labels makes it difficult to assess whether or not a food or ingredient we are putting into our bodies is a good choice.
The folks at Environmental Working Group (EWG) have provided a wonderful resource that may offer a solution. This week, the consumer advocacy group launched their Food Scores tool, a culmination of over three years of research that contains a database of nutrition assessments on over 80,000 foods in your grocery store.
Available as a free app or online, the tool scores a food product on three metrics; Nutrition, Ingredients and Processing. Products are rated on a 1 to 10 scale as well as a green-to-red color scale; a “1” (green) represents a food that is a best choice and a “10” (red) represents, well, the worst. Mandy Oaklander of Time Magazine gives a rundown on what goes into the ratings:
Some databases only consider nutrition information found on the label. But this one offers a more in-depth view of what’s in our food—from contaminants like BPA in canned foods, mercury in seafood, antibiotics in meat, arsenic in rice and pesticide residues in produce, to food additives, like preservatives, artificial and natural flavors and colors, low-calorie sweeteners and fat replacers.”
Learn more about the database with EWG’s explanatory video.
It’s easy to search through the pre-programmed categories (from baby foods to salad dressings) or type in the name of a company or a product. If you happen to pull a nasty 9, the Food Scores tool gives you an alternative list as well. Learn more about how to use the tool in this explanatory video.
PHOTO: EWG Food Scores
Food Scores via Environmental Working Group
Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson