GOOD

A New App Helps Shoppers Put Their Money Where Their Mouths Are

BuyPartisan tracks the political spending of nearly 100 companies that create 2,000 common food products available across the country

Whether you're in a country that's voting on November 4 or not, you may want to think about which party you're supporting next time you go to the grocery store.

A new app, BuyPartisan, meticulously tracks the political spending—through Boards of Directors, CEOs, PACs, and employees—of nearly 100 companies that create 2,000 common food products available across the United States. With a quick scan of a barcode, customers can see whether their favorite cereal (or preferred toilet paper brand) leans more Democratic or Republican.


“Wouldn’t you want to know whether the things you purchase everyday of your life reflect the same values you [do] in the voting booth?” asks Matthew Colbert, founder of the app and its parent company Spend Consciously. “What we’re trying to do is take whatever transparency is currently there and make it much more easy for people to have in the palm of their hand or on the computer. We come at it from an empowerment perspective.”

With this in mind, we decided to use BuyPartisan to analyze the political parties’ surreptitious intrusions into a classic American meal: in this case, a barbeque finished off with a fresh-baked apple pie à la mode.

Here’s the partisan tally, otherwise known as the menu:

Appetizers

Cheese Straws made with Land O’ Lakes Monterey Jack Cheese (Dean Foods):

59.86% Republican, 27.84% Democrat, 12.3% Others

Spinach Parmesan Artichoke Dip (Kroger’s):

45.46% Republican, 43.05% Democrat, 11.49% Others

Planters Smoked Peanuts (Kraft Foods):

39.69% Republican, 30.28% Democrat, 30.03% Others

Lay’s Potato Chips (PepsiCo):

45% Republican, 22.2% Democrat, 32.8% Others

Drinks

Stella Artois Beer (Anheuser-Busch InBev):

49.79% Republican, 41.23% Democrat, 8.99% Others

Honest Fizz Root Beer (Coca-Cola Company):

42.97% Republican, 22.16% Democrat, 34.87% Others

Main & Sides

Hamburgers made with Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (Berkshire Hathaway):

4.27% Republican, 2.25% Democrat, 93.47% Others*

Heinz Ketchup (Berkshire Hathaway):

4.27% Republican, 2.25% Democrat, 93.47% Others

Spinach Salad (Dole):

53.7% Republican, 19.79% Democrat, 26.51% Others

Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for salad dressing) (ConAgra Foods):

76.13% Republican, 14.61% Democrat, 9.25% Others

Desserts

Pillsbury Pie Crust (General Mills):

48.5% Republican, 24.15% Democrat, 27.35% Others

Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt (Unilever):

9.59% Republican, 71.59% Democrat, 18.83% Others

York Peppermint Pattie (Hershey’s):

56.93% Republican, 23.09% Democrat, 19.97% Others

Bounty Paper Towel (Procter & Gamble):

65.36% Republican, 25.37% Democrat, 9.27% Others

Even if, as BuyPartisan founder Colbert admits, the amount of political contributions per item totals less than a penny, when you consider how much we spend on groceries per year—and the average American spends $4,000—the amount we might unwittingly contribute to political parties and causes via our food purchases adds up. Particularly when compared with how much scrutiny we use to judge our food choices (nutritional value, farming practices, GMOs, environmental impact, etc.), the lack of interest in the political values of these corporations seems jarring. But with advances in technology like BuyPartisan, we can more accurately choose which products come with values we want to bring to the family dinner table, and which ones we’d rather leave on the shelf.

* According to a BuyPartisan spokesperson, the “others” category could mean support for Independent candidates, other party candidates, or super PACS.

Features
NASA

Four black women, Engineers Christine Darden and Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson, and computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, worked as "human computers" at NASA during the Space Race, making space travel possible through their complex calculations. Jackson, Johnson, and Vaughn all played a vital role in helping John Glenn become the first American to orbit the Earth.

They worked behind the scenes, but now they're getting the credit they deserve as their accomplishments are brought to the forefront. Their amazing stories were detailed in the book "Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly, which was later turned into a movie. (Darden was not featured in the movie, but was in the book). Johnson has a building at NASA named after her, and a street in front of NASA's Washington D.C. headquarters was renamed "Hidden Figures Way."

Keep Reading Show less
Science

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News
Courtesy of John S. Hutton, MD

A report from Common Sense Media found the average child between the ages of 0 and 8 has 2 hours and 19 minutes of screen time a day, and 35% of their screen time is on a mobile device. A new study conducted by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital published in the journal, JAMA Pediatrics, found exactly what all that screen time is doing to your kid, or more specifically, your kid's developing brain. It turns out, more screen time contributes to slower brain development.

First, researchers gave the kids a test to determine how much and what kind of screen time they were getting. Were they watching fighting or educational content? Were they using it alone or with parents? Then, researchers examined the brains of children aged 3 to 5 year olds by using MRI scans. Forty seven brain-healthy children who hadn't started kindergarten yet were used for the study.

They found that kids who had more than one hour of screen time a day without parental supervision had lower levels of development in their brain's white matter, which is important when it comes to developing cognitive skills, language, and literacy.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
via Anadirc / Flickr

We spend roughly one-third of our life asleep, another third at work and the final third trying our best to have a little fun.

But is that the correct balance? Should we spend as much time at the office as we do with our friends and family? One of the greatest regrets people have on their deathbeds is that they spent too much of their time instead of enjoying quality time with friends and family.

Lawmakers in the United Kingdom have made a significant pledge to reevaluate the work-life balance in their country.

Keep Reading Show less
Lifestyle