Is your pantry as much of a mess as mine? Things seem to just get randomly stuck in there all higglety pigglety pop. Check this out! It got kinda bad. After a while it's really easy to forget what's in there, how long it's been in there, you get the idea. So, today was finally the day to take it all out, clean it all out, and figure out, using the Food Scores app, what the heck we are eating!
The things we had lower were snacks for the kids. Cleaning products like dishwasher tablets higher up. That made sense originally because then the girls could grab something healthy when they were hungry, right? Except now I feel like I have to lock the pantry because their access is so easy, they aren't hungry for actual meals! The snacks definitely needed to move. But first, let's look at how they scored.
These tend to be some of our go-to snacks. Who doesn't love a good squishy! These scored really well. Again, just like with the Skin Deep app, the lower the score, the better. The Happy Tot's scored a 1.6. Pretty darn good! The other three? Not quite so well.
The Simply Balanced fruit strips and the Nature's Bakery Fig Bars both scored a 6. The big concern with the fruit strips was the high sugar content. They contain 64% sugar by weight and 2 teaspoons of natural sugar per serving. That's two sugar cubes per strip! I don't know about you, but it's easier for me to visualize sugar in terms of cubes. No wonder my girls like them so much!
The Fig Bars contain 36% sugar by weight and a whooping 3 sugar cubes of added and natural sugar per serving. There are two bars in each pack, but an actual serving is only ONE of those bars. Tricky how they do that, no? The other issue with these is ingredient based. Any rice or rice-based ingredients may contain high levels of arsenic, a carcinogen and cardiovascular toxicant. However, since the only rice-based product in these is brown rice syrup, I tend to think the arsenic level is low to non-existent. Just my opinion.
And, last but not least, Pirate's Booty. I think everyone with toddlers has these in their pantry somewhere, our maybe in their couch. These actually scored a 6 as well. Some thing that popped up in their scores surprised me: antibiotics were likely used in the production of the diary ingredients, hormones may have used in the production of the dairy, likely contaminated with dioxin and other organic pollutants due to the dairy...looks like I need to learn a lot more about dairy production!
We had a lot in our pantry, too much to blog about every product. So, I'm just going to include the products that surprised me the most from this point out, whether pleasantly or not-so-pleasantly.
We like tuna in our house and Costco has some great bulk options. We started to buy the Wild Planet brand. What's your guess for the score?
A 10! There were little to no processing or nutrition concerns with this one. The main concern was that it is likely to contain high levels of mercury, which, according to the Food Scores App, can affect neurodevelopment. Now, Food Scores lets you compare a product to others of a similar variety, so I checked out Wild Planets other products. Their Skipjack Light Tuna scored a 5, due to the fact that type of tuna it contains likely contains moderate levels of mercury. So, perhaps we will look for that type next time we do a big Costco shop.
The other three? They fell between 8 and 10. The Bisquick scored an 8 because it contains ingredients like Partially Hydrogenated Soy Oil and Cottonseed Oil, contains 25% of the daily sodium recommendations, contains added sugars, and has moderate processing concerns. Normally, I make my own pancake mix from scratch, but sometimes a momma needs a little help, you know? Think I'll go back to making my own in bulk!
Ghirardelli scored a 10 and contains 1 of the EWG's top food additive of concern: Hutylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT). Why is this a concerning additive? Debate surrounds the link of BHT to cancer risk, asthma and behavioral issues in children. (wikipedia.com) The brownie mix also contains an exorbitant amount of sugar, but you kinda expect that, no? The dairy/antibiotic/growth promoters issues comes into play with this product, too.
And, last but not least, Schweppes Ginger Ale. It scored a 9. Hello sugar! Per serving you get a whopping 8 teaspoons of sugar. That's 8 cubes people! 8 cubes per 8 ounce serving. Whaaat!
Now, for the winners.
Arborio Rice, pretty harmless, except for the whole rice=arsenic thing, only scored a 3. Keeping this one around. Pretty much all the Rice Select options scored really well; Couscous, Brown Rice, Pearl Couscous, Texmati, take your pick! The same went for the Barilla pasta brand. Pretty much any type o' noodle scored below a two.
The Simple Truth Organic peanut butter scored a 4, due to fat and sugar. But, again, you kinda expect it to have both of those just considering what it's made from. The Terra chips also scored a 4, again due to fat and sugar.
Big take aways? Beware added fat, sugar and sodium. They seem to be everywhere, even in the Del Monte canned diced tomatoes (which also likely have BPA in the lining of the can). Also, there are some really good options out there, you just have to look.
Using the Food Scores app was really helpful in that I could easily see what similar products were available and a better choice for us. I'll definitely be trying some of them out, and using Food Scores more frequently when I go grocery shopping.
As for the organized pantry? That's going to have to wait for another post. I tried, but I think we still need some more work on that, and some baskets and such to keep things corralled!
How do you organize your pantry? Any tips to share? And, if you've tried out the Food Scores app, what surprised you in your pantry? Share with us!
All product information taken from the Food Scores App.
I'm Tonia, a Midwesterner transplanted to Colorado. I'm a mom of two lovely littles, a yoga instructor, DIY-er, teacher, stay at home mom, and a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. I blog about a little bit of all of these and everything in between!
Are you looking for natural health options, but don't know where to start? Book a 1-on-1 appointment with me! We'll spend about 30 minutes getting to know your health goals and concerns, learn a bit about doTERRA, and go over the most commonly used oils that meet your needs. You don't have to buy anything, but if you see something you like, of course I can help you!