Planetary Health & Packaged Food: How does your basket add up?

Find more sustainable food choices for our planet with lower greenhouse impact.

Food is one of the things we all rely on each day.

But did you know food production has a big impact on the health of the planet?

In a first for Australia, researchers have been figuring out which packaged food products have the highest and lowest impact on planetary health based on greenhouse gas emissions.

They’ve developed an app with an evolving data asset that looks at different criteria and provides a Planetary Health Rating (PHR) for each product. Using this data we can now choose products based on their carbon impact.

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How does your grocery selection add up?

Select six products to fill up your basket from the items below and click ‘evaluate basket’ to see their Planetary Health Rating.

Your Basket

6 items left
Click item to remove
You have no items in you basket.

How did you go?

Of the - items you picked, - had a High Planetary Health Rating.

Products Planetary Health Rating

What you could do differently

This shows your selected items alongside similar products, so you can decide between items that have a lower and higher Planetary Health Ratings.

Small changes can have big impacts. By selecting products that have a higher Planetary Health Rating we can send clear messages to manufacturers that change is needed, and help our planet and our health.

This sample is for illustrative purposes. You can see much more in the ecoSwitch app which contains thousands of products, and all you need to do is scan the barcode to see the rating. See more about ecoSwitch below.

About ecoSwitch

ecoSwitch is a free app designed to help people choose packaged foods that have a lower environmental impact by simply scanning a barcode. It uses an evolving data asset that assigns Planetary Health Ratings to packaged foods. Users can see how their selected packaged food items rate and choose from more environmentally friendly alternatives.

ecoSwitch is based on the same platform as our award-winning FoodSwitch app, which has over 100,000 Australian packaged food items in its database, and is accredited by ORCHA with a review Score of 74% in 2020 making the FoodSwitch app the most trusted source for health app advice.

Importantly, the data developed for the app will be central to recommendations for food system changes that can produce positive environmental effects on a larger scale. We will be advocating for a nationwide policy framework that makes this possible.


Get the ecoSwitch app:

Download on the app store Get it on Google Play

About this work

People need and want information to help them choose more sustainable food options. The food system is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, yet there is little reliable information to make sustainable choices about food. Decision tools are needed to help individuals make choices that promote planetary health.

The George Institute’s Healthy Food, Healthy Planet, Healthy People Centre for Research Excellence was formed with this in mind. This initiative comprises a range of projects designed to improve understanding of the environmental impact of the food system. Incorporating sustainable aspects into the way Australians engage with the food system is integral to a healthier future for people and planet. Read more about other projects.