As I was trying to figure out what to have for a mid-morning snack the other day (deciding between a yogurt followed by a banana, or half a Chocolove chocolate bar followed by the other half of that bar) I started thinking about nutrition labels.
Experts have agreed upon the following label as the best way to educate mankind about what we’re putting in our bodies:
These labels are fine. Totally adequate. We’ve all been taught what they mean. However, if we actually understood them we wouldn’t need Weight Watchers to simplify things further and count points for us.
When it comes to labels, I like them to tell me exactly what’s going on without numbers. This is the proper way. Case and point: The letter A was used in 17th century colonial Boston to label adulteresses as evidenced in The Scarlet Letter, and in more modern times fashion designers have been kind enough to use labels such as “Prada,” “Ralph Lauren” and so on. Therefore, my proposed labels would be free of meaningless math as well.
My proposed labels would also deconstruct the current ones even further. For example, when I look at fat content, I’m really wondering how long until I’m hungry again. When I look at potassium, well, I don’t– if I wanted potassium I’d eat a banana. My point is, each line on my new nutrition label still answers the same question as it did on the old label. The line for sodium still tells you about sodium, the line for cholesterol still tells you about cholesterol… but in a way that does not require conversions:
For example, let’s say I wanted to eat some junk food:
So there you have it. I’m sure Mrs Obama will reach out to me when she’s not so busy and we’ll start a new health campaign called “Food: Ready, Filling and Labeled.”
So that’s what I’m thinking (out loud) today. Thanks Amanda!
What do you look at when you look at nutrition labels? (I always glance at fat, sodium, and protein. And sometimes sugar.)
Do you pay attention to suggested serving sizes? (I do pay attention, I just don’t always agree with their suggestion.)
Do you like numbers? (Gross.)