- The Plate
An Eater’s Guide to Food Labels
Food packaging isn’t just the shell that protects or contains a product. It’s a powerful miniature billboard—a tool that food producers use to reel in customers.
It’s also a document, of sorts, that conveys how a food was produced and whether the government has overseen that process.
The problem for consumers? Knowing the difference.
This week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will begin to consider input from the public and the food industry on how best to define “natural,” one of the most misused and misunderstood terms in food—and one that has immense marketing power. (See “So What do ‘Natural’ and ‘Healthy’ Really Mean?“)
But the agency’s effort is only the latest attempt by government regulators to clarify for consumers what certain