Eating for Health

Published on March 29th, 2014 | by Jill Ettinger


Google Makes Nutrition Data Comparison a Cinch

kale beef

Is there anything Google can’t or won’t do? I know. That’s a silly question. So, what if you want to know the nutrition data comparison, say, between kale and beef? Just go to Google and type it in: “compare kale beef.” Or “kale vs. beef.”

What you get, instead of scrolling through the gazillion Google search results, is a straight up and easy to read side-by-side nutrition data provided by Google at the top of the search. It’s so much easier that scrolling around to find a credible source that will give the nutrition comparison of foods, which usually doesn’t happen. Typically, if you want that info, you have to find the nutrition profile for food one, then search for food two and toggle between the two pages. I realize that’s not the most difficult thing in the world, but if we’re going to keep letting technology make life easier for us, well this is a great step forward. (At least it is for food writers.)

According to NPR’s The Salt, “As you contrast ingredients, perhaps out of sheer curiosity, perhaps to design a meal plan, you’ll learn a lot by playing around with the preparation and cooking method of the food.”

Google says it’s pulling the data from the USDA, which catalogs the nutrition profile of almost every type of food available in the U.S.


And if you weren’t already aware of this Google function, here’s another one that’s helpful: Type “[food] nutrition facts” into your search and Google will give you the breakdown right there alongside the search results. So, if you just wanted to know how much sodium was in a serving of carrots, you can see it in the search without having to open a page.

“The data aren’t perfect — as we discovered when we dug deep into bacon,” reports The Salt. But still, it’s a healthy tool that can make us all a bit more invested in knowing exactly what we’re eating, right down to the micronutrients. And in this day and age, that’s important. Thanks, Google. Now, can you clean my kitchen?

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About the Author

Jill Ettinger is co-director of Eat Drink Better. She is the senior editor at and A focus on food, herbs, wellness and world cultural expressions, Jill explores what our shifting food, healing systems and creative landscapes will look, sound and taste like in the future. Stay in touch on Twitter @jillettinger and .

One Response to Google Makes Nutrition Data Comparison a Cinch

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