DESERTJULZ
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Fooducate: My New Favorite Smartphone App

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Yesterday, a group of Sparkers met up at Paradise Valley Mall for an early morning, indoor *air-conditioned* mall walk. Some of us walked two miles, some three, and I hit four (because I went one extra time around with a late arrival. :D)

On the way home, HIKERBECKY and I stopped at REI so she could spend her reward points. We were both pretty hungry, so stopped to look at the power bars/snack bars. I pulled out my favorite, a "Pure Bar." (Organic, raw, made with dates & nuts, among other mostly healthy items.) Becky pulled out her cell phone, powered up "Fooducate" and scanned the bar code on my bar!

Here's what we learned:

1. Fooducate gave the item a grade of "B+"
2. It was GMO-Free (important to both of us!)
3. It is a top product in its category
4. Contains more than 16% of daily fiber
5. It is Vegan
6. The Agave Nectar used to sweeten the bar is a healthier choice than sugar as it contains less calories than sugar for the same level of sweetness; however, it equated (along with the dates to more than 4 tsp of sugar)
7. Fooducate offered a recipe for homemade granola bars that would be a healthier choice.

WOW! I had to download this app before my next shopping trip, so I did!

Then, at Sprouts, I decided to splurge on calories and treats and purchase a bottle of juice. The first one sounded good, labeled as 100% organic juice. I scanned the bar code. It received a score of "D." Huh, 100% organic juice, why a D? I read the info and discovered that manufacturers don't have to calculate "natural flavors" into the 100% ratio... interesting. So it was juice, reconstituted and had "natural flavors" added. Natural flavors, as I've learned from some of CAKEMAKERMOM's blogs, can be really bizarre stuff and not even vegetarian in some cases. Yuck! I put that bottle back and instead scanned the bar code on a bottle of Lakewood Organic Tart Cherry Juice. Much better score, a "B."

Why? Here's why:

1. Top product in its category
2. Naturally high in vitamins A & C
3. Contains only certified organic fruit juices (no "natural flavors")
4. On the downside, it was high in natural sugars with 6 tsp per serving

Although it cost $2 more, I chose the Tart Cherry Juice.

I LOVE THIS ***FREE*** Smartphone App! It will reveal the hidden GMOs in the products you're considering for purchase. It will give your foods a score and explain the score.

If you need gluten-free, however, you have to spend a few dollars for the upgrade to that app. Worth it if you have celiac disease, I'm sure!

Check out more info at www.fooducate.com/ .
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