Imagine a time when grocery store jam had no requirement for fruit content and might just contain glucose, water, grass seed and artificial flavoring. Or a time when lead was used to color cheese? Shockingly, it wasn’t all that long ago. Food labeling and having the ability to make a choice between products based upon potential health benefits or risks is a relatively new concept.
A fascinating article in PCC’s April newsletter talks about the history of food labeling, which began in the late 1800’s and the issues that are still around today.
Food manufacturers have consistantly argued to limit the amount of information they provide (citing reduced space for recipes or more packaging as their reasons) making it harder for us as consumers to make decisions based upon real information, not marketing rhetoric.
But the kind of food we eat is one of the most significant health decisions we make on a daily basis. By seeking out sources of good, well-researched information, staying appraised of the legalities of food labeling (organic, genetically engineered, natural, etc.) and supporting companies that are committed to real health and well-being, we are not only empowered to make better decisions but also inform companies of what it takes to maintain or gain our business.