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.