My Dream Food Label –

A provocative proposal by Mark Bittman on food labelling, moving to a red, yellow, green light system covering nutrition, ‘foodness’ (or degree to which made with real ingredients), and ‘Welfare’, or how food is produced (e.g., treatment of animals, environmental damage).

I am a great fan of informative labelling. In an earlier life, I worked on ecolabelling issues and am aware of some of the challenges in designing neutral, informative and helpful labels, not to mention avoiding these being captured by trade or other interests.

Worth a read. Quote:

Even the simplest information — a red, yellow or green “traffic light,” for example — would encourage consumers to make healthier choices. That might help counter obesity, a problem all but the most cynical agree is closely related to the consumption of junk food.

Of course, labeling changes like this would bring cries of hysteria from the food producers who argue that all foods are fine, although some should be eaten in moderation. To them, a red traffic-light symbol on chips and soda might as well be a skull and crossbones. But traffic lights could work: indeed, in one study, sales of red-lighted soda fell by 16.5 percent in three months.

My Dream Food Label –


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