As you know, last Friday, some of our ladies visited with a mom’s group to talk about our family farms, the food we produce for our family and your family to eat, and some kitchen tips geared as saving us all time and money in the kitchen. I had the pleasure of sharing Tip #1 and would like to share it with all of you.
Tip # 1: Know your labels.
When shopping at the grocery store or even the farmer’s market, we are inundated with marketing labels. We are lucky to live in a country with so many choices, but what do all of these labels mean?
Truthfully they can be quite confusing, if not silly.
Have you ever seen a bone-in banana? I know I haven’t.
Miss Val from Wag ‘ n Tales compared the labels on two different cereals and found that they really weren’t that different; however, if she hadn’t know her labels, she could have easily believed that one was a better choice for her family.
Choice is a powerful tool and we are thankful that we have all the choices that we do. We just want to help you make an informed choice and understand your labels. For instance, many labels on products today are followed by an asterisks of some sort to tell you more of the story. Do you follow the asterisk for the rest of the story?
Upon closer examination, one will see that federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones or steroids in poultry; yet, this particular package is marketed as “no hormones or steroids added.” This marketing label has always baffled me since no poultry, chicken or turkey, receives extra hormones or steroids. Pigs and pork are exactly the same. Yet, you will find pork, chicken, and turkey marketed with this claim. Once again, it is a choice that the companies have when marketing their products. We just want to help you know your labels so you can make an informed choice.
All natural is another one of those label claims that has an asterisk next to it.
As you can see on these chicken breasts, it simply states that all natural means no artificial ingredients and minimally processed; however, the “all natural” label is not regulated by anyone so it can mean different things to different people. Once again, it is one of the many choices we have as consumers that can often be confusing so just be sure to know your labels.
Another label that can often be confusing is the organic label.
Organic is simply a label that refers to how the product was grown and raised. Per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), no distinctions can be made in the safety, quality, or nutrition of an organically produced product when compared to a traditionally produced product. So want we want you to remember is that the organic label does not mean that a product is safer or more nutritious. It was simply produced is a different manner which may or may not be the right choice for your family.
These are just a few of the labels that you might find at the grocery store or farmer’s market. In the coming weeks, we will address a few more. Which ones would you like us to address?
We are lucky to have all of these choices as consumers and I hope we will continue to have these choices. We are by no means criticizing any of the above products or label claims. We simply want you to be an informed consumer and know your labels before you make your choices.
Please let us know what labels you look for when shopping for food and what additional questions you have for us!