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Try EWG’s Food Scores App at the Grocery Store

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


This summer as an EWG research intern, I’ve helped develop EWG’s Food Scores. The database and mobile app help consumers make healthier, cleaner grocery store purchases by rating food on a scale with 1 the best and 10 the worst food items.  

The score calculates nutritional value, health concerns about ingredients and degree of processing. It helps consumers make educated decisions about food.

Before I joined EWG, I assumed that  natural flavoring would rate well, while something like riboflavin would rate poorly. Turns out, natural flavoring isn’t what it seems. And riboflavin is just a fancy way to say vitamin B.   

The Food Scores app dispels misconceptions by distinguishing safe ingredients from troubling ones. For example, I find it disturbing that many cereals, raw nuts and other products contain chemicals such as butylated hydroxytoluene, when there is substantial scientific evidence that suggest it may be harmful to health. Additives like BHT are found in our grocery store foods, yet have been banned by other nations.

Food Scores helps me avoid the worst-rated products and stay within my budget. If more people like me buy highly-rated products, market demand might bring down prices.

Try the Food Scores app in the grocery store! Choose nitrate-free turkey at the deli counter and bread made without potassium bromate in the bakery section.

Use knowledge and capitalism to your advantage. We have the purchasing power to decide whether we want better nutrition and less processed foods with fewer chemical additives.


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