Have you seen them? A number stamped above a blue and white hexagon. This NuVal score is part of a labeling system- a scale from one to 100. The higher the number, the healthier the food.
"What it tells you is a summative, overall assessment of nutritional quality, which is what matters."
The system is the brainchild of Dr. David Katz. "The average supermarket in the United States sells 50,000 foods. And the overwhelming majority of them come in bags, boxes, bottles, jars, and cans. And all of that packaging has marketing messages about, 'choose me. I'm good for you in some way.' And a lot of that is deception if not a lie."
The system follows a formula when calculating a score. NuVal takes the good stuff like iron, fiber, and vitamins and divides it by the bad stuff - like fat, sodium and sugar.
"We didn't take away the nutrition facts panel. We didn't take away the ingredient list. So there's a summative score for overall nutritional quality. Every bit of information you ever had before is still there."
NuVal is posted in 1,600 grocery stores nationwide. But not everyone is sold. You won't find this in major chains like Whole Foods.
"The algorithm is not perfect and we actually don't know the whole algorithm. It's not completely transparent," says registered dietician Keri Glassman.
But Dr. Katz says he thinks of NuVal like GPS, which is most useful when you don't know where to go.
Why isn't the product in all stores? Go get NuVal, you have to pay for it - which some chains aren't willing to do.
Where will you find this in Northern Nevada? Raley's introduced it two years ago for all of its stores. Scolari's has the labels too.
For more about the scoring system, go to http://www.nuval.com/scores/