19 Mar 2012
I don’t like the idea of government regulating my food. My guess is that most Americans feel the same way. I also don’t like the idea of levying special taxes on foods that today might be considered “bad”.
Eating is fundamentally a very personal experience, and we should be able to decide what and how we want to eat. That said, we should also be able to make that choice based on clear, and understandable information and do our best as an industry and a nation to educate consumers about how nutrition impacts health.
The food industry, in its drive for profits, has done almost everything possible to cloud consumer information and in many cases has fought against the most basic consumer rights to information. The industry has fought against country of origin labeling. They have fought against GMO labeling. They have fought against labeling improvements proposed by many consumer organizations. The solutions proffered today tweak the status quo and preserve a shield of mystery.
Last week the head of marketing of one of the largest food companies in the world (Pepsico) said in an interview (as it relates to their decision to add water to orange juice) “we have lost perspective here on the primary reason we are in business, which is to make money”.
If this is the primary reason they are in business then at the very least there must be more transparency in labeling so that consumers have the chance to make well informed decisions. What really is in my orange juice?
Mortgage regulations in the wake of the housing bubble have become more transparent to prevent the kind of abuses that almost cratered our country. I think it is time for the food labels to become transparent as well. Standardized serving sizes would be a good place to start. And maybe including ALL the ingredients would be a good idea.
Food companies’ first responsibility is to their consumers, then the environment and finally to the bottom line. If companies abide by this idea, then their customers will live happy and healthy lives.
RobCheck out my latest posts here