Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Food label "keys": Out of tune?

The Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers of America announced new label "keys" this week, a code on the front of packages that will give you a quick rundown on things like calories, saturated fat, sodium and dietary fiber. Hailing it as a voluntary effort by food makers, the two groups said it's a move to answer consumer demand for more information. Here's FMI's one-page explanation of the new labels:

But complaints are quickly cropping up that the new labels are just an attempt by manufacturers to make it more difficult, not easier, to tell which products are poor choices. Marion Nestle, New York University professor and a frequent commentator on nutrition policy, explains that side of the argument in her column, here:

Take a look at both sides and see what you think. Is this a guide that you will find useful, or just more "white noise" that makes it harder to navigate the grocery store aisles?