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Shiny New Food Labels

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.

Confused by Food Labels? Read the Fine Print!
Everything You Think You Know About “Natural Food” is Wrong
Misleading Food Labels

Read more: Conscious Consumer, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, Health, Intelligent Optimist,

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.


+ add your own
1:58PM PST on Feb 3, 2013


5:09PM PDT on Sep 14, 2012

follow the money?

1:21PM PST on Feb 8, 2012


10:35AM PST on Feb 8, 2012

Thank you

10:54AM PST on Feb 7, 2012


11:34AM PDT on Jun 3, 2011

so true!

9:54AM PDT on May 29, 2011

thank you for article......and more regulation please!

12:36AM PDT on May 19, 2011

So many times i purchased 'ECO' products, because they looked recycled, 'green'etc just to find that they contain Sodium Laurel Sulphate (SLS) or similar names, in other words Palm Oil. What the hell is green about rainforest destruction for palm oil???????????????????Misleading? I think so.

9:47AM PDT on May 18, 2011

I agree with Christa..."natural" is very misleading, but hopefully we can trust an "organic" label.

6:44PM PDT on May 17, 2011

Noted with thanks!

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