Understanding Food Labels
Keywords:Consumers, Food Labels, Government-regulated Labels, Third-party Labels, Understanding of Food Labels
Have you ever made a purchase based on a food label? Everyone gives food labels a cursory glance, but for the many consumers who wish to make purchasing decisions that reflect their personal and social values, food labels are critical. How do you decipher the myriad of new symbols, logos, certification claims, and sometimes meaningless information presented in today’s marketplace? How do you know which labels contain statements that are not regulated by governmental agencies? Can you differentiate third-party certifications from private company claims? In this commentary, we categorize and review a broad array of new label varieties, claims, certifications, and regulations. We then describe a new online, interactive resource for consumers to help them improve their understanding of food labels. Finally, we inventory additional teaching tools and resources that may provide educators with other food label curricula for consumers.
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