Once again, Google has given us something we didn’t even know we wanted.
The tech giant recently launched a nutrition comparison tool that enables users to search for various foods and see how they stack up against each other. Although a number of food comparison tools already exist online, the beauty of this one lies in its simplicity — namely, the fact that the tool lives within the Google search function and is available to users anytime, anywhere.
A few test runs using this tool showed that it’s better to start off generally, narrowing down food types and preparations as you go. The tool kicks in when you type “compare chicken vs. beef” into the Google search bar, producing dropdown menus featuring all manner of meat cuts. Do you want to compare roasted chicken thigh and 85% lean ground beef? Or stewed chicken breasts and corned beef? Once you pick the amounts of food and relevant items for comparison, a nutrition chart generates that includes fats, sodium, carbs, calcium and even caffeine.
The real learning starts when you use the tool to compare how preparing your favorite meals with different ingredients can make a big nutritional difference — such as making French toast with 2% milk instead of butter. For home cooks who like to innovate, the Google tool offers easy-to-see ways to make dishes healthier and more nutritionally sound.
Google states that the nutrition information used in its tool hails from a wildly cumbersome USDA database that currently contains more than 8,400 food items. However, the company still has some work to do, as basic searches, like “compare soy milk and almond milk,” returned no results.
Keep it up, Google — we like where this is going.