Shiny New Food Labels
As you walk through the aisles of your local grocery store, you’ll probably notice a lot more products boasting “natural” ingredients than there used to be. You can read about this trend in this recent article from The Atlantic. But take a closer look, and you’ll find that many of these products aren’t as “natural” as they may seem. They might contain, for example, one or two natural ingredients, but a whole slew of gross artificial stuff. And marketing products as “natural” isn’t the only deceptive trend in labeling that’s on the rise. Product packages have been making more and more health claims of all kinds. I recently read the back of a box of crackers that boasted having no trans fat, only to find that one of the ingredients was MSG.
I think there’s good news and bad news in these developments. The bad news is that many consumers are being tricked into buying products they incorrectly believe to be natural and healthy. So it’s up to us as consumers to be vigilant and to be sure to read ingredient labels. You can’t judge a cracker by its cover.
But the good news is that this trend in promoting natural, healthy ingredients is evidence that food corporations are responding to an increased consumer demand for higher quality products – at least when it comes to marketing. And that’s a start. We know they hear us when we cry out for healthier, more natural food. So now, if we can just follow through – read ingredient labels and purchase products that are actually healthy and natural, there’s hope that food corporations might be willing to respond.