Food labels are a tricky lot and often leave people confused.
When asked what’s wrong with them, Good Calories Bad Calories author Gary Taubes responds, “Many things. Short answer is it’s too small and too hard to read. Second, it focuses on the wrong information. The fat and sodium content of the foods are not nearly as important as the sugar and digestible carbohydrate content, at least by my research on the subject. So giving fat, total fat, sodium, etc., is misdirecting attention away from the factors that actually cause weight gain, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, etc.”
Rethink the Food Label is a project by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s News21 program and Good Magazine. We asked the public, food thinkers, nutritionists, and designers to redesign the Nutrition Facts Label to make it easier to read and more useful to people who want to consume healthier, more nutritious and wholesome food.
Designs could incorporate the nutrition label’s existing break down of fats, sugars, vitamins, calorie counts and percent daily values. Or, they could re-imagine the label to include geography, food quality, food justice, carbon footprint, or lesser-known chemosensory characteristics.