The confused consumer – confusing food labels

Interpreting labels

Interpreting labels

Are you a confused consumer? Do you feel overwhelmed with food choices at grocery stores and often unsure as to whether you are making the right purchasing decisions? If you are trying to eat healthy, you are probably putting some effort into reading food labels. But, unfortunately, labels are often confusing and sometimes misleading. Even a line of products under the same brand you consider organic can include products with different certifications. Let’s take Born Free eggs, for example.

Born Free Family is a Radlo Foods brand. Radlo foods is committed to bringing foods from sustainable American family farms. On organic egg scoreboard by the Cornucopia Institute, Born Free eggs have a “3-egg” rating (1501-1800): “Very Good”—Organic, Complying with Minimum USDA Standards. Eggs from brands in “3-egg” rating category “either come from family-scale farms that provide outdoor runs for their chickens, or from larger-scale farms where meaningful outdoor space is either currently granted or under construction. All producers in this category appear committed to meeting organic standards for minimum outdoor space for laying hens.”

If you ever wondered why some of Born Free BF Family eggs are more expensive than others, the explanation can be found on BF family products page. Born Free Cage Free and Organic Free Roaming Eggs with Omega-3 brown eggs are certified by Humane Farm Animal CareAll Natural Omega-3 eggs and  All Natural Vegetarian Fed come from hens that are “cared for according to Animal Husbandry Guidelines developed by the United Egg Producers.” According to UEP Certified website, “UEP certified eggs originate from farms dedicated to following responsible, science-based farming methods designed to ensure optimal hen welfare.” Obviously, Radlo Foods is committed to providing healthy eggs at a reasonable cost. Some of their BF family products meet higher standards and, therefore, are more expensive.

“Natural” and “free-range” labels without any additional certifications often mean nothing and are just used to trick consumer into thinking that they are buying products that are good for them. Organicauthority.com has a great article about 5 Food labels that mean nothing. Here’s what they have to say about “free-range” label: “the law states that chickens must be “allowed access to the outside,” yet there are zero specifications as to how big this outdoor area must be. There might be one door that goes to a 4’x4’ yard for 100 chickens or more that are all eating hormone-fueled, pesticide-drenched food.” We strongly recommend that you check out the article – it’s a great read. The 5 labels that “mean nothing” are “natural”, “local”, “free-range”, “made with whole grains”, and “lightly sweetened.”

And speaking about “lightly sweetened” and confused consumer, there’s another great article that is a true eye-opener: 9 drinks worse than a candy bar. Sure, Mountain Dew soda is on the list, but so is the Vitamin Water…

 

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