Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

New App Uncovers What’s Really In Your Food

Packaged foods are designed for taste, not health, and the nutrition labels don't tell you the whole story.

The Environmental Working Group released a new app Monday that analyses your packaged foods.

Avoiding excess sugar, salt and other additives in packaged foods can seem overwhelming in a world where processed foods are designed around taste and not health.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) wants to take the guesswork out of choosing quality packaged food with its new smart phone app, EWG’s Food Scores: Rate Your Plate.

The Rate Your Plate app scans bar codes and delivers a score based on nutrition, additives, preservatives, natural and artificial flavors.

The app goes beyond what the label says to provide a more thorough analysis, including BPAs, mercury, pesticide use, antibiotics in meat, and replacements for sugar and fat.

EWG rates the products on a 1-10 scale, with 1 being the best and 10 being the worst. Scores 1-3.5 are considered a good choice, while 4-7 are of moderate concern and 8-10 are of higher concern.

What EWG found when analyzing some 80,000 different products was alarming. On average, the packaged foods contained 14 ingredients, and consisted of 13 percent sugar by weight and 30 percent of the daily salt intake recommended by the Institute of Medicine.

Read More:

  • This Free App Knows Exactly What’s in Your Food (TIME)
  • Rate Your Plate Series: EWG’s Food Scores Gives Snapshot Of The State Of America’s Food Landscape (EWG)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media