Posts Tagged ‘nutritional criteria’

Grocery Score

July 31, 2010

Kudos to grocery giant Kroger, for pioneering a food ranking system to help it’s customers make wise decisions.

The system ranks foods on a scale of 1- 100, from the least nutritious to the healthiest.

The system, licensed from NuVal LLC, employs a system designed by experts from Yale University. It takes the information from food’s nutrition labels, as well as other public information to calculate it against the federal dietary recommendations.

While these scores are much more factual and accurate than the failed food labeling system which put a green check mark on certain foods produced by their paid subscribers, there is still a controversy among purveyors.

For example, General Mills Cheerios scored a rank of 37, while Post’s Shredded Wheats received a 91.  The General Mills spokesperson, felt that the ranking was unfair, citing that the cereal was low fat, cholesterol free and made primarily of whole- grain oats. The NuVal spokesman stated that the Cheerios had more sodium and less fiber than the Shredded Wheats, justifying its data.

NuVal does not show the scores to anyone before they appear on the grocer’s shelves, hopefully insuring that there are no outside factors affecting the scores.

Consumers are responding to the information, and making healthier choices within each food group.

This is just one step in a nation wide effort to help people make educated decisions  in their food purchases. Walmart, the largest food retailer in America will be rolling out a similar program this year.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Not So Smart Choices

October 26, 2009

13-2Under pressure from state and federal authorities who feared that consumers were being misled, the food industry is suspending its major labeling program called “Smart Choices”. The program, which was discussed on this blog on September 13, featured a green checkmark on the boxes of foods that were deemed “healthy choices.”

Pepsico announced this week that they were cutting ties with the program, and Kellogg’s said that it would begin phasing out the packaging bearing the program’s logo on its foods which included Froot Loops and other sugary cereals.

The Smart Choices logo was met with criticism from nutritionists who felt the criteria was too lax.

The decision to suspend the program, pending revisions is a remarkable about face for an initiative that was developed by many of the country’s biggest food manufacturers, during a two year period. Isn’t it ironic that it only took 6 weeks for them to realize that this program was “not so smart” after all?

We hope that this is the first of many steps in the right direction for the American food industry.

photo: adapted from Glasshouse Images

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