Jenna Blumenfeld, Freelancer

October 28, 2014

For years health experts advocated for an easy-to-use food rating system, but too often methods like front-of-package traffic lights (green means buy, red means avoid) or stars (three means good, one means bad) only focus on nutrition markers like calories, saturated fat and sodium. They negate important food concerns like ingredient quality and toxins like pesticides and BPA.

Not so with the Environmental Working Group's new food scoring system that weighs a food's likelihood of contaminants, ingredient processing and product nutrition. Consumers can search over 80,000 products to learn which foods are holistically better to eat, based on EWG's one-to-ten rating scale (the lower the score, the better).

For example, Hot Pockets Sausage Pizza Sandwiches score an 8 due to probable hormones used to raised the meat, lack of organic certification, high sodium and trans fats; LaraBar Apple Pie Bar scores an acceptable 3.5 for high protein and fiber, and no industrial ingredients.

About the Author(s)

Jenna Blumenfeld


Jenna Blumenfeld lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she reports on the natural products industry, sustainable agriculture, and all things plant based. 

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