How The App Init Plans on Debunking The Food Labelling Facade

How the founders are bestowing knowledge, many labels at a time.

plastic bags
Image: iStock

Last month, headlines whirled around Australia. They would make it mandatory for Health Star Ratings to be displayed on most food products. With many companies attempting to maybe get around this process, local app Init is taking matters into their own hands. Init will launch new technology that gives Australians full transparency when it comes to the food we eat and the products we buy. The free app will give customers more knowledge surrounding nutrition. We’ll know more about ingredients and organic provenance of food, as well as cosmetics’ chemical composition.
Init co-founder, Tim Macdonald, wants to create a product that gives people a taste of what they’re really getting. “With Australia’s alarming obesity levels, coupled with people’s desire to do the right thing by themselves and their families when it comes to making healthier choices, this app is designed to empower consumers with a choice – or as we like to think of it, it’s a dietitian in your pocket.” He continued, ‘When working on the food portion of Init, we realized there was a need for similar insight into the beauty and grooming industry.”
He continued “Why, for instance, are we putting chemicals on our faces that are banned in some other countries? Init takes the guesswork out of deciding what’s best for your body with a simple “traffic light” approach. There’s a more detailed breakdown of ingredients for those who can’t interpret product labels.” “We believed that the current Health Star Rating being advised by the government is not sufficient. For starters, this is only a voluntary measure and therefore part of the reason we don’t see many products with low scoring ratings on supermarket shelves. We believe our free to use app provides the best solution on the market and provides the transparency and ranking many nutritionists have been advocating for many years now.”

debunking food labeling with init
Image: Init App

How Exactly Does Init Work?

It’s simple. For all food products, Init will the current Health Star Rating, which only considers nutrition further. They’ll do this by also identifying the level of food processing. They’ll be looking at specific ingredients, food additives and any organic properties of the food. Then there’s cosmetics. With beauty, hygiene and grooming products, the app alerts users to harmful chemicals that are present within the item. The app also has a simple four-stage, color-coded rating system of ‘bad’, ‘mediocre’, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’. Please keep in mind, these are independently based on global nutrition guidelines. The app aims to provide a rating for all food and beauty products that are available in Australia.
Since becoming public in late 2019, Init’s use is over 250,000 times by more than 10,000 people. There are also currently 800,000 products on the Init database, and this is growing. The most popular scanned item is Vegemite within the food sector and Sorbolene moisturizer for cosmetics. Init is 100% independent and Australian-owned. We hope it continues to shape the way we see health in all aspects of life in the future.

Download Init here. And while you’re here, check out why sleeping more may lead to faster weight loss

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