The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy outfit, has a reputation for using data to shake up the status quo. Its database of farm subsidies revealed which farmers were getting rich off government payments, and even a few celebrities receiving government payouts. Its scorecards on cosmetics and cleaning products showed which ones contained the most toxic ingredients.
Now, EWG has focused on the grocery aisles. Today it released a database that scores more than 80,000 grocery items, based on nutrition, safety of ingredients, and the amount of processing. A free mobile app for smartphones is coming soon. Called “Food Scores: Rate Your Plate,” the database was developed over three years with the hope of helping shoppers make “healthier, greener and cleaner food choices.”