Nutrition Tools & Information

Icon_Nutrition_Toolbox1What's in your Nutrition Toolbox?
Are you fed up with nutrition flim-flam?
We are, too. Enough of the daily barrage of information about nutrition that seems to flip, flop, flim, and flam all over the map. 
How can we differentiate between real nutrition science and all of the noise that permeates the world of nutrition? Click here for some simple tips. 
See below for some real nutrition tools you can add to your toolbox.
Have a resource to recommend? Please email it to [email protected], and we will add it to the toolbox.

Check out our ongoing list of reliable resources: 

Think Tanks / Academic Institutions

Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI) 
Rudd Center
Credit Suisse Research Institute

Independent Voices of Science & Reason

Michele Simon
Alan Greene
Robert Lustig
Michael Pollan
Alice Waters
David Ludwig
Gary Taubs
Marion Nestle
Michael Moss
Rajiv Bhatia 
Jeff Volek & Steve Phinney
Sanjay Gupta
Frances Moore Lappé
Jamie Oliver
Yoni Freedhoff
Steve Phinney & Jeff Volek


Nonprofits Changing the Food System and Our Health

Edible Schoolyard Project
Robbins Food Revolution Network
Union of Concerned Scientists
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Healthy Food Access Portal
Environmental Working Group
Growing Food Connections
The Suppers Program
U.S. Right to Know
Let's Help Let's Move
Hypoglycemia Support Foundation
Beyond Celiac


Marcus Foundation
James Beard Foundation
Kellogg Foundation

Media / Blog / Information Sites

Civil Eats
New York Times Food-Well Blog
National Geographic Future of Food
Edible Startups
Food Politics
Food+Tech Connect
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranking of County Health for the entire U.S.
World Health Organization - Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity
Sugar Stacks

Videos, Films & Documentaries

Check out the IRN YouTube Channel here.
Documentaries & Films


Sugar Coated
Sweet Revenge
In Defense of Food
Food Fight
The Food Chains
The Sugar Trap
Dulce Agonia
Fed Up 
The Men Who Made Us Fat
Cereal Killers - The Movie
Loophole in GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe)
The C Word Movie
Sugar Crash
Dr. Mercola's Interview with Dr. Lustig

Dr. Lustig explains how sugar is like poison in this interview by Dr. Mercola.

The Green Bronx Machine TedX Talk

Stephen Ritz and the Green Bronx Machine show, despite incredible challenges, food system change and child nutrition can happen, even with 6th grade students!

Dr. Lustig's Talk in Mexico City

Dr. Lustig explains the biggest problem of the 21st century. 

Robert Lustig - Eat Forum

Concise explanation of how the processed food is an experiment that has failed

Cindy Gershen - Wellness City Challenge

Change the food, change the future!

Sugar Crash - Irish Documentary on Sugar Consumption
 is a website that allows us to "scoop" different articles on the web and archive them by subject. View our page for access to all of the past articles that we have archived.

IRN site


FNV Campaign

A campaign to increase the marketing of fruits and vegetables (FNV). 

Open Truth Campaign

The Open Truth Campaign is an innovative and bold effort by San Francisco Bay Area youth, public health officials and concerned community members to increase awareness about the health impacts of sugary drinks. Open Truth exposes the tactics of the sugary drinks industry, which targets young people, parents, and communities of color in order to increase profits and brand loyalty. Despite scientific evidence that links sugary drinks to chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, and obesity, the beverage industry continues to target their products to our most vulnerable community members.

It's Only Natural!

Learn more at Only Organic. A delightful parody: "The False Advertising Industry" reveals the shocking truth about what is allowed in "Natural" food with a healthy sense of humor. The USDA Organic Seal guarantees that food under this label contains no Genetically Modified Organisms, toxic pesticides, or growth hormones or antibiotics. 

The Scarecrow Campaign

Processed food, animal confinement, and the use of synthetic growth hormones, non-therapeutic antibiotics, and toxic pesticides are rampant in the food supply. Here is Chipotle's innovative campaign to educate people about alternatives - a journey for the Scarecrow, and a journey for all of us.




A useful app that measures daily intake of total calories, macronutrients, sugar, vitamins and minerals from your phone, tablet or computer.  


An app that "scans" food items to reveal the amount of sugar per serving. 

ipiit - The Food Ambassador

Filter out foods you like.

The Food Cowboy

Eliminate waste in the food system.

Seafood Watch

Tool for purchasing sustainable fish.

Investing in Food System Change

Feeding 10 Billion

"For-purpose” enterprise, to address the growing interest in AgTech and NewFood among creative entrepreneurs.

Food System 6

Ecosystem and incubator for entrepreneurs across all segments of the food system.

RSF Social Finance

focus on food system investments

Food & Agriculture PRI Fund

To increase funding to sustainable and local food and agriculture 

Columbia Institute

Building Sustainable Food Systems: A role for investors

The Spring Creek Foundation

Promoting Sustainable Food Systems





The Bloodless Revolution by Tristram Stuart

Food Politics by Marion Nestle

The End of Food by Paul Roberts

Food Fight: The Citizen's Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill by Daniel Imhoff

Farmers Markets of America by Robert Sommer

Prisoned Chickens Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry by Karen Davis

Here and Nowhere Else: Late Seasons of a Farm and Its Family by Jane Brox

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

The $64 Tomato by William Alexander

Garden Cities of Tomorrow by Ebenezer Howard

Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry by Warren James Belasco

Food Rules by Michael Pollan

On Good Land: The Autobiography of an Urban Farm by Michael Ableman

Mycophilia by Eugenia Bone

City Chicks by Patricia L. Foreman



Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption, and Protecting Public Health by Nicholas Freudenberg

A superb book on public health. Excerpt: 

Core Beliefs and Values of Advocates for Healthy, Sustainable Consumption

1. Making a profit by sickening others is wrong.

2. Parents, families, teachers, and health professionals, not corporations, should educate people about health, nutrition, and moral values.

3. Nanny corporations that seek to exploit children’s vulnerability and immaturity, not nanny states, are the real threats to health and freedom.

4. The goal of social policy should be to make healthy choices easy choices.

5. In a globalized world, economic activity anywhere affects people everywhere; shifting the harms of such activity to another region or country in order to protect one group is wrong.

6. Every generation has a responsibility to leave the world a better place for future generations. Knowingly bequeathing our children and grandchildren a burden of disease, damaged environments, or corrupted democracy violates most of the world’s moral codes.

7. Science belongs to all humanity; appropriating it to profit at the expense of health or the environment is wrong.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans & NHANES

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a list of recommendations emphasized by the US government to optimize our country's health through nutrition and lifestyle. 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and the USDA share the responsibility of administering the Dietary Guidelines. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is administered by HHS. 

Every 5 years, a committee is selected to review the current evidence and update/revise the Dietary Guidelines. The committee is diverse and represents a wide array of health specialties. The committee reviews data including evidence found in the USDA's Nutrition Evidence Library. 

Here is the USDA's National Nutrient Database for reference. It lists many foods and their macro- and micronutrient value. However, added sugar is still missing.  


The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is a series of studies that asses both the health and nutritional status of Americans, from youth to adulthood. It is conducted by the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and uses both interviews and physical examinations. The data collected through NHANES is used in many different publications and studies. 

Choice Architecture Solutions

Choice architecture is a framework that includes various strategies and approaches designed to help consumers make better, more informed decisions, based on reliable and actionable data.

1. The ANDI (Aggregate Nutrient Density index) food scoring system was created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to illustrate which foods are the nutrient density of a variety of foods. It is a scale ranging from 1-1000. Soda is considered a "1", the least nutrient-dense, and kale is considered a "1000", the most nutrient-dense. The higher the score, the more "nutrients" per calorie. Currently, Whole Foods Market uses this system. 

2. The Nordic Keyhole System is a Danish system for promoting healthier foods. Foods that qualify as "healthy" are marked with the keyhole symbol. Foods are ranked in comparison to other similar foods; the healthier option receives the keyhole symbol on its label. 

3. My Fitness Pal is an app that allows users to search the nutritional content of over 5 million foods and track their daily intake. Users will better understand their caloric, macronutrient and micronutrient intake and are often encouraged to make healthier decisions. 

4. British Traffic Light Labeling System is a proposed food labeling system in the EU. One of three different colors (like a traffic light) would represent the nutritional content of the food: "red", meaning high in fat, salt and/or sugar, "amber", meaning the food product contains moderate amounts of fat, salt and/or sugar, or "green", meaning it contains low amounts of fat, salt and/or sugar. 

5. Real Food Certified is a food certification (much like LEED or Fair Trade) for food service organizations. It uses a point-based system to attest to whether the organization provides wholesome, healthy, sustainable foods. 

6. EWG Food Scores is a food scoring system that acknowledges nutrition, ingredient and processing concerns. Foods are scored on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst. 


Government Food & Nutrition Resource Sites


Eating on a Budget

Farmers' Markets


GRAS - Generally Regarded as Safe

EAFUS - Everything Added to Food in the U.S.

Nutrition Data Sites

The IRN does not endorse any of the sites listed here. Nutrition facts can vary considerably from site to site.

Here is a primer on understanding nutrition facts labels (click here) provided by the American Heart Association. 

Here is a primer on how to understand and use the nutrition facts label by the FDA (click here).

Self Nutrition Data

  • On the Nutrition Data site, you'll find detailed nutrition information, plus analysis tools that tell you more about how foods affect health and make it easier to choose healthy foods.

Nutrition.Gov "Whats in food" (many links on this page)

  • USDA - Look up the amount of calories, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and more contained in foods using the USDA's on-line searchable database. This is an up-to-date and comprehensive source for nutrients amounts in food.
  • USDA - View nutrient values for 13,000 foods commonly eaten in the United States using familiar portion sizes that can be adjusted by the user.

Food Addiction

Food Addiction Resources
Food Addiction Institute - Resource List
Food Addiction Dependency and Recovery Resources
Food Addiction: Causes, Symptoms, Signs
Food Addiction Research - List of Resources
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous
"Alcoholics Anonymous was nurtured in its early days around a kitchen table ... True, we have progressed materially to better furniture and more comfortable surroundings. Yet the kitchen table must ever be appropriate for us. It is the perfect symbol of simplicity." -AA Co-Founder, Dr. Bob, September 1948, The Fundamentals in Retrospect, Spiritual Awakenings: Journeys of the Spirit

Type 2 Diabetes

Whether you have type 2 diabetes, are a caregiver or loved one of a person with type 2 diabetes, or just want to learn more, the diaTribe website provides an excellent overview of type 2 diabetes.


American Diabetes Association

Wikipedia Overview

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