A new technology company has created an encyclopedia of food to help users navigate nutritional needs and make food facts more transparent. The Sage Project, based in New York City, is a new platform that breaks down everything you need to know about a particular brand or food.
The application, available on mobile devices or on its web-based platform, has information on more than 20,000 food products. There is a wide range of brands with detailed information on the easy-to-navigate website. For less obvious brands, like providers of fruits and vegetables, there is a more generic list of foods rather than name brands.
For each selection, there is an overview, nutritional information, exercise equivalents, ingredients and attributes, and product locations. When looking at a chocolate chip-flavoured CLIF Bar, for example, one can see that it has 32 ingredients and eight allergens. Beyond the nutritional information, there is a breakdown of quick facts.
Beyond the overview, there is a detailed breakdown of more specific nutritional facts. If you’re curious as to where the food comes from, the Sage Project will tell you that too.
The app has partnered with Whole Foods Market to include all of the brands that the chain carries in stores. For a more personal selection, a user can sign up and select any preferences or allergies that they may have and the app will filter through thousands of products and provide a list of foods.
A cool feature on the Sage Project is the activity equivalent. Select a product and the number of servings and it will give you how many minutes one needs to run, bike, dance, do yoga or jump rope for. It’s a rough estimate as people burn calories at different rates.
A user can enter in their height, weight and lifestyle routines to better estimate one’s activity equivalent. Even if you don’t use the app on a consistent basis, it appears to be a good resource for one’s curiosity about a certain foods.
The activity-equivalent feature is similar to a proposal in the United Kingdom where some are pushing for minutes of exercise to be included on food labels.
Sam Slover, the co-founder and chief executive of the Sage Project, told The New York Times that despite all that the app does, it doesn’t tell a user what to eat. “I’m not a big fan of red, yellow and green scoring mechanisms for food,” Slover said.