Fooducate app tells inconvenient nutrition truths

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WHAT’S HAPPENING

Wait, there’s more than just a spoonful of sugar in my cereal? Fooducate, the latest grocery store truth teller, is an app that lets consumers scan barcodes to learn the reality of what lies in the market aisles.

The free app uses the phone’s camera to scan barcodes, which unlock health grades from A to F, notes on how processed the food is, explanations of what the ingredients really are (for instance, that autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed vegetable protein are MSG equivalents), and suggestions for comparable but healthier alternatives.

WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS

Consumers want to Get RealSM about products with 35 ingredients, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stop reading labels (or not understand the scientific jargon in the first place). An app that does the analysis and spits out a letter grade will have grateful consumers making healthier choices in a snap.

Parents care about what goes into their kids’ bodies, but getting through the grocery store with little ones is not conducive to careful scrutiny of nutrition labels. An app that gives an answer in a few seconds is a godsend for harried moms and dads.