Baltic environment, food and health:
from habits to awareness.

Indicator bars

What do the indicator bars show?

Energy bar shows the amount of energy the selected food items or meal contains in relation to the recommended energy intake. Calculations are based on the Finnish nutritional recommendations and depend on the user’s age, gender and bodyweight. Moderate physical activity is assumed.

  • Green – right amount of energy (average lunch plate should provide 1/3 of the days energy need).
  • Yellow - slightly too much or not enough energy.
  • Red - too little or too much energy.

Nutritional quality shows the nutrient balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, salts, vitamins, minerals and microelements in the food. The intake of each nutrient is divided by the nutrient-specific recommendations.

  • Green – a good balance between different nutrients.
  • Yellow – not a balanced choice (too little or too much of some component).
  • Red – too little or too much of some nutrients.

Environmental impact indicates the impact of food production on the environment. The value is calculated as the weighted and normalized of three factors (weighting in parentheses): CO2 - the carbon footprint (61%), eutrophication impact (PO4) on the Baltic sea (28%) and pesticides (MCPA) used during food production (11%).

  • Green – the environmental impact is less than or similar to the Finnish average.
  • Yellow – the environmental impact is roughly 50% higher than the Finnish average.
  • Red - the environmental impact is twice as high as the Finnish average or even higher.

Toxic exposure indicates whether the food plate or individual food items contain certain contaminants. Calculations are based on the contaminant-specific concentration data in different food items, tolerable weekly intakes (TWI) and the user’s bodyweight. Toxic exposure contains the concentrations of the 17 contaminants.

  • Green – low toxic exposure (HEI <5, the intake of each contaminant is significantly less than its TWI).
  • Yellow – medium toxic exposure (HEI 5-25, the intake of each contaminant is less than its TWI).
  • Red – high toxic exposure (HEI >25 one or more contaminants may be exceeding their TWI).


See more detailed explanations: pdf Web application "Foodplate - how to make reasonable choices?" Background paper (.pdf 0,8Mb). Anne Aan, Liina Laumets, Eva-Liisa Orula (University of Tartu), Päivi Munne and Lauri Äystö (Finnish Environment Institute), 2013.

Indicator bars What do the indicator bars show?