Food Scores, a brand-new online database organized by the Environmental Working Group, is designed to help consumers identify the nutritional value and full ingredient contents of more than 80,000 prepackaged foods from approximately 1,500 brands.
Food Scores are calculated with consideration given to three factors: nutrition, ingredient concerns, and the degree of processing.
For example, Pepperidge Farm Whole Grain Mini Bagels received a total score of 3 out of 10 (1 being the highest), and are identified as being of low nutritional concern, low ingredient concern, and moderate processing concern. Furthermore, the item is listed as high in protein per gram, not certified organic, and containing “ingredients derived from wheat — these are considered major food allergens according to the FDA.”
As you can imagine, the information is exhaustive, but only applies to packaged groceries. The database has already attracted resistance from the food and beverage industry, including the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group that opposed Vermont’s decision to require GMO labeling, and which has called the database “void of scientific rigor and objectivity.”
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.