GoodGuide Launches Food Category - New Health and Environmental Findings Shed Light on What We Feed Our Kids

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Consumer product rating website, GoodGuide, releases nutritional, health, environmental and social research on food products. GoodGuide calls for more transparency from government and manufacturers.

company, we are partnering with non-profits and academics to encourage greater transparency and public access to timely information on food and other products.

GoodGuide™, the largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products and companies, released ratings of processed foods today. GoodGuide's new food database helps people quickly and easily assess the health, environmental, and social performance of over 5,000 food products they buy in grocery stores.

The new food category is available today at http://www.goodguide.com and joins over 70,000 personal care and household chemical products already rated on the site. Additionally, the GoodGuide food category will be accessible as a free iPhone application and more than 20,000 products will be added, covering all major food categories over the next month. GoodGuide is featured in this week's issue of TIME Magazine, cited as an example of one of the 10 ideas changing the world right now (http://tinyurl.com/ad69hr).

What are you feeding your child?
GoodGuide has worked over the last two years to gather the most comprehensive public data on processed foods, analyzing the ingredients in over 25,000 products for their health and nutritional impacts, and evaluating the environmental and social impacts of food manufacturing.

GoodGuide's technology platform allows the company to analyze this information and gather insights regarding food and other products people purchase and use every day. With the launch of GoodGuide's food category, the company is sharing some surprising facts about the thousands of products served to children across America, including top-selling baby foods, cereal, milk, yogurt, juices, crackers, and pasta:

  •     88% of juices exceed a recommended sugar threshold, and 23% contain high fructose corn syrup.
  •     More than 75% of white bread products contain high fructose corn syrup.
  •     44% of milk products contain added sugar.
  •     14% of yogurts exceed a recommended sugar threshold, 26% contain high fructose corn syrup, and one-quarter contain artificial colors that are under review to be banned in the U.K. and the U.S.
  •     Some popular baby foods sold in the u.s. contain FD&C Red 4, which is not allowed in food in the European Union, Australia, or the United States.
  •     13% of baby juices contain ingredients that are not allowed in food in the European Union.
  •     28% of crackers and 11% of cold cereals contain hydrogenated oils or trans fat.
  •     75% of fruit snacks contain added colors.

After completing this analysis, Caitlin Merlo, MPH, Registered Dietitian commented, "We were frankly shocked when we looked at the number of children's food products that contain added colors not allowed in food in other countries, or that contain high fructose corn syrup, added sugars, and high sodium levels."

"GoodGuide is a fantastic resource. It is way too hard right now to figure out what really is healthy for our kids to eat. This helps!" commented Joan Blades, President of MomsRising.org, a non-profit organization working on economic security for families through policy and culture change. "I'm excited to think that if we parents stop buying this food that isn't good for our kids that the folks making the unhealthy foods will find they need to make snacks and cereals that are in fact good for all of us."

Trend Toward Improved Transparency in Food Labeling:
With a wave of recent food safety scandals and recalls, consumers are increasingly demanding better information on the food they consume. Sixty-seven percent of consumers in a recent survey reported that country of origin labeling would be extremely important in their buying decisions (Deloitte LLP. 29 Oct. 2008, http://tinyurl.com/cnpqm5).

In response to this demand, the United States Department of Agriculture announced that today they will begin final enforcement of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements for meat, fruits, vegetables, and some nuts. This governmental program, while lauded by food safety advocates, will cover only unprocessed foods. Over 90% of the products in an average grocery store are processed, which leaves U.S. consumers guessing as to the origins, content, and safety of processed foods.

GoodGuide.com, goes beyond food origin transparency and is releasing data that allows consumers to quickly and easily assess information on thousands of food products; find news about recalls and product controversies; and learn about healthier, safer, more environmentally-sound foods. The site also answers shoppers' common questions, such as: which products should you buy organic? Which products should you buy local? Which products have the largest environmental impact?

"GoodGuide believes that COOL implementation and GoodGuide food ratings are an important step forward in public information about food," Dara O'Rourke, Professor at UC-Berkeley, co-founder and CEO of GoodGuide, commented. "However, GoodGuide also supports public calls for greater disclosure from the food industry. As a "for benefit" company, we are partnering with non-profits and academics to encourage greater transparency and public access to timely information on food and other products."

For additional information, visit http://www.goodguide.com. To request screenshots of GoodGuide food data, such as top and bottom-rated products, or to interview GoodGuide experts, please contact: Jodie Van Horn, 415-732-7722 ext. 6.

About GoodGuide
GoodGuide strives to provide the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of products and companies. GoodGuide's mission is to help consumers find safe, healthy, and green products. GoodGuide currently offers detailed product information for more than 70,000 personal care, household chemical, toy and food products. GoodGuide is committed to providing consumers the information they need to make better decisions.

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Cherie Stewart
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