EWG’s Food Scores houses information on tens of thousands of foods in a simple, searchable online format designed to guide consumers to healthy, affordable food that’s good for people and the planet.
The database includes more than:
• 80,000 products
• 5,000 ingredients
• 1,500 brands
How did we come up with our scores? We combine these ratings into a single overall product score.
-- Nutrition. The nutrition scoring algorithm considers multiple factors, including calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, sodium, protein, fiber and fruit, vegetable and nut content.
-- Ingredient concerns. The ingredient concerns algorithm focuses on factors such as the likely presence of key contaminants, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics and the health implications of certain food additives.
-- Processing. The processing score reflects EWG's best estimate of the extent to which a particular food has been processed. Scoring factors include modification of individual ingredients from whole foods and the number of artificial ingredients.
EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce calculates that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables samples examined in 2013.
The USDA findings indicate that the conventional fruit and produce industries are ignoring a striking market trend: American consumers are voting with their pocketbooks for produce with less pesticide. USDA’s Economic Research Service estimates that the organically produced food sector, though just 4 percent of all U.S. food sales, has enjoyed double-digit growth in recent years. The trend is particularly strong for sales of organic fruits and vegetables, which account for the lion’s share of all organic food sales: USDA economists reported that organic produce sales spiked from $5.4 billion in 2005 to an estimated $15 billion last year and increased by 11 percent between 2013 and 2014.
Pesticides persisted on fruits and vegetables tested by USDA, even when they were washed and, in some cases, peeled.
USDA EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce recognizes that many people who want reduce their exposure to pesticides in produce cannot find or afford an all-organic diet. It helps them seek out conventionally grown fruits and vegetables that tend to test low for pesticide residues. When they want foods whose conventional versions test high for pesticides, they can make an effort to locate organic versions.
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