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Lower scores accompany better foods.
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EWG Overall Score Breakdown

The product score is based on weighted scores for nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns. Generally, nutrition counts most, ingredient concerns next and degree of processing least. The weighted scores are added together to determine the final score. Read more about scores here.

EWG Overall Score Breakdown


EWG scored on three factors: nutrition, ingredient concerns, and the degree of processing. Read the full scoring methodology.

Score
Lower concern
Higher concern
Lower concern
Higher concern
1
10

Read our full methodology

Nutrition Concern Details

Level

Considers calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fiber and fruit, vegetable and nut content to differentiate between healthful and less healthful foods. For more information on nutrition concerns, read our full methodology.

Contains ingredients known to be a source of unhealthy artificial trans fats: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [read more]

Contains a high level of saturated fat [read more]

Contains 47% of the Institute of Medicine's daily sodium (salt) recommendations based on adequate intake [read more]

Contains 1 added fiber ingredient(s): Cellulose Powder [read more]

Contains 1 added fiber ingredient(s): Cellulose...

This product contains added fiber. Added fiber ingredients can be extracted from industrial byproducts like wood pulp or plant starches, made into a powder and added back into highly processed foods to increase their fiber content and appearance of healthfulness. While there is a long history of studies that confirm the beneficial effects of a high fiber diet rich in fruit, vegetables, beans and whole grains, there is much less data on the potential health benefits of these added fibers and whether the health benefits are preserved once they have been extracted from their original sources (IOM 2001; Jones 2012; Turner and Lupton 2011).

The nutrition factors used for scoring Hormel Pepperoni & Cheese Bites
Positive factors
Fruit, vegetable, bean or nut content
Protein content
Fiber content
Omega-3 fatty acids
Negative factors
Calorie density
Sugar/low-calorie sweetener content
Sodium content
Saturated fat content
Trans fat content

Ingredient Concern Details

Level

Considers food additives, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and contaminants like mercury and BPA, which can affect human health and the environment. For more information on ingredient concerns, read methodology.

This product is not certified organic [read more]

Contains 3 of EWG's top food additives of concern: Sodium Nitrite, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Antibiotics were likely used in the production of this meat [read more]

Hormones and/or growth promoters were likely used in production of meat ingredients [read more]

Contains 1 ingredient(s) associated with cancer: Sodium Nitrite

This product has 9 ingredients with concerns:

Processing Concern Details

Level

Estimates how much the food has been processed. Considers many factors, chief among them, modification of individual ingredients from whole foods and number of artificial ingredients. For more information on processing concerns, read our full methodology.

Product has been classified as having high processing concerns

Products with moderate and high processing concerns generally have more artificial ingredients, more ingredients that have been significantly modified from whole foods, and more ingredients overall.

EWG's Top Findings

This product is not certified organic [read more]

This product is not certified organic

Products bearing the USDA certified organic seal must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredient, and must be produced without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and free of genetically engineered ingredients.

Contains food additives of higher concern

Contains 3 of EWG's top food additives of concern: Sodium Nitrite, Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA), and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Antibiotics were likely used in the production of this meat [read more]

Antibiotics were likely used in the production ...

Many animals are fed low doses of antibiotics throughout their lifespan to speed growth and prevent diseases. These non-essential uses promote antibiotic resistance, posing a serious risk to human health.

Hormones and/or growth promoters were likely used in production of meat ingredients [read more]

Hormones and/or growth promoters were likely us...

Hormone implants and artificial growth promoters are commonly used to speed the growth of meat animals. These practices are not allowed in Europe due to health concerns.

Contains ingredients known to be a source of unhealthy artificial trans fats: Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil [read more]

Contains ingredients known to be a source of un...

Artificial trans fats are produced when vegetable oils are subject to extreme temperatures or pressures to solidify the fat and increase shelf life, flavor stability and palatability (FDA 2013). These modifications benefit the manufacturer but are detrimental to the consumer's health. Health experts at the Institute of Medicine recommend "that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible" (IOM 2005). The CDC estimates that eliminating artificial trans fats could prevent up to 20,000 heart attacks and up to 7,000 deaths each year (Dietz 2012). In 2013, the FDA made a tentative determination that trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils (the primary dietary source) should no longer be generally recognized as safe (FDA 2013). Some trans fats do occur naturally in meat and dairy products. These natural trans fats may be of lower concern; some studies have found them to be beneficial, while others have found their effects to be neutral (Chardigny 2008; Mozaffarian 2009; Wang 2013).

Contains the non-specific ingredient "flavor" [read more]

Contains the non-specific ingredient "flavor"

Added "flavors" are secret and often complex mixtures of chemicals that modify and manipulate the taste and smell of food. The lack of disclosure is a public right to know issue and especially concerning to people with unusual food allergies or on restricted diets.

Contains a high level of saturated fat [read more]

Contains a high level of saturated fat

Saturated fat is not an essential nutrient and with increasing intakes there is a increased risk of coronary heart disease (IOM 2005a; USDA and DHHS 2010). For this reason it has long been known as a "bad" fat that raises the "bad" cholesterol, LDL. Numerous authoritative bodies support the recommendation to limit saturated fat to 10 percent of calories -- equivalent to a reasonable limit of 14 slices of bacon's worth of saturated fat a day (WHO 2002; USDA and DHHS 2010). A 2012 review by the Cochrane Collaboration, an independent non-profit organization, found that reducing or replacing saturated fat with other healthy fats reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 14 percent (Hooper 2012). Other recent reviews have found that there in no evidence of a benefit from reducing saturated fat (Chowdhury 2014; Schwingshackl & Hoffmann 2014). While it's clear that we still have a lot to learn about how fats behave and contribute to disease, the evidence supporting a moderate level of saturated fat consumption remains strong and consistent.

Contains 47% of the Institute of Medicine's daily sodium (salt) recommendations based on adequate intake [read more]

Contains 47% of the Institute of Medicine's dai...

This product contains a high percentage of the Institute of Medicine's recommended adequate intake for sodium of 1500 mg a day (IOM 2005). This value is much lower than what the FDA requires be listed on food labels -- 2400 mg. Americans average 3,400 mg of sodium a day. Most of this sodium comes from processed foods where sodium is added to mask the lack of freshness by enhancing the flavor, texture or palatability and extending shelf-life (IOM 2010). Many of these uses are for the manufacturers benefit and not the consumer's health as excess sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and kidney disease (IOM 2010).

Contains 1 ingredient(s) associated with cancer: Sodium Nitrite

Product has been classified as having high processing concerns

Ingredient List

From the Package

BREAD INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, BREAD BASE (DEXTROSE, SOYBEAN OIL, SUGAR, SALT, CORN STARCH, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, WHEAT FLOUR AND 2% OR LESS OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING: MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE, CALCIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, ASCORBIC ACID [VITAMIN C], ENZYMES), SEASONING (MALTODEXTRIN, SUGAR, SALT, CHEDDAR CHEESE [MILK, SALT, CHEESE CULTURES, ENZYMES], GARLIC POWDER, TOMATO POWDER, ONION POWDER, SPICES, PARMESAN CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURES, SALT, ENZYMES], NATURAL FLAVOR, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE), CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SUGAR, YEAST (CONTAINS SORBITAN MONOSTEARATE, ASCORBIC ACID), YEAST ENHANCER (CALCIUM SULFATE, WHEAT STARCH, WHEAT FLOUR AND 2% OR LESS OF ENZYMES, SALT), CALCIUM PROPIONATE (PRESERVATIVE), FUMARIC ACID, SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVE), HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (CONTAINS SOYBEAN, PALM, AND/OR COTTONSEED OIL), MONOGLYCERIDES. FILLING INGREDIENTS: PEPPERONI (PORK, BEEF, SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF WATER, DEXTROSE, SPICES, LACTIC ACID STARTER CULTURE, OLEORESIN OF PAPRIKA, GARLIC POWDER, SODIUM NITRITE, BHA, BHT, CITRIC ACID), PASTEURIZED PROCESS MOZZARELLA AND CHEDDAR CHEESE PRODUCT (LOW MOISTURE PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES], CHEDDAR CHEESE [PASTEURIZED MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES], PASTEURIZED CREAM, WATER, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, SALT, SORBIC ACID [PRESERVATIVE], POTATO STARCH AND POWDERED CELLULOSE [TO PREVENT CAKING], NATAMYCIN [A NATURAL MOLD INHIBITOR]), TOMATOES (WATER, TOMATO PASTE), MODIFIED FOOD STARCH, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF DRIED VINEGAR, CELLULOSE GUM, SUGAR, SALT, FLAVORING, SPICES.

*Older Product

Products remain in the database for two years after their label information is recorded in stores. A product with label information last recorded more than a year ago is marked with an * identifying it as an older product.

*Discontinued Product

Products remain in the Database for two years after their label information is recorded in stores, even when they have been discontinued (products may remain in stores and pantries long past the date they cease to be manufactured). EWG marks a product it is aware has been discontinued with a banner identifying it as such.

Product Images

Please note that EWG obtains the displayed images of products from third parties and that the product's manufacturer or packager may change the product's packaging at any point in time. Therefore, EWG assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of images presented.

Other Information

This product contains the following ingredient(s) that may be genetically engineered or derived from GE crops: Corn Starch, Sugars, Dextrose, Soy Bean Oil, Cotton Seed Oil, Maltodextrin, Soybean, Modified Food Starch, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Mono And Diglycerides Of Fatty Acids, and Citric Acid [read more]

This product contains the following ingredient(...

Scientists have not determined whether GE food poses risks to human health. Still, consumers have many good reasons to avoid eating genetically engineered ingredients, including limited safety studies, the development of "superweeds" and increased pesticide use. For more information on the topic visit: http://www.ewg.org/research/shoppers-guide-to-avoiding-ge-food Note: The presence or absence of genetically engineered ingredients or ingredients derived from GE crops does not affect a product's overall score.

Environmental Impact: Contains beef, which has a high carbon footprint relative to other protein sources. [read more]

Environmental Impact: Contains beef, which has ...

Beef production is very resource intensive and generates a large amount of greenhouse gases. To learn more about the climate impacts of meat production read: http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/ Note: The potential climate impact of a particular food is not factored into a product's overall score.

Environmental Impact: Contains pork, which has a higher carbon footprint relative to chicken, eggs and plant proteins.

Contains ingredients derived from milk, wheat or soybean - these are considered major food allergens according to the FDA [read more]

Contains ingredients derived from milk, wheat o...

While over 160 food ingredients may cause allergic reactions current Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations stipulate that 8 major food allergens must be labeled on products. These allergens include; milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans. Note: The presence of potential allergens does not affect the overall product score.

Nutrition Facts

1.0 servings per container

Serving Size

1 PACKAGE

Amount Per 57 g
Calories
190

% Daily Value (based on a 2,000 calorie diet and adult bodyweight)
Update the values for someone:

QUICK FACTS:

15.0 15.0 % Total Fat 10 g
Sugars 4 g
8.0 8.0 % Protein 7 g

AVOID TOO MUCH:

Trans Fat 0.0g
30.0 30.0 % Sodium 710 mg
Added Sugar Ingredients: Sugars and Dextrose

NUTRIENTS:

4.0 4.0 % Dietary Fiber 1 g
Vitamin D (no value on present label)
2.0 2.0 % Vitamin A
2.0 2.0 % Vitamin C
10.0 10.0 % Calcium
4.0 4.0 % Iron
Potassium (no value on present label)

† Institute of Medicine. 2010. "Dietary Reference Intakes Tables and Application." Accessed April 8, 2014: link

 

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