Is It Safe To Eat 5 Year Old Frozen Meat Nutritional Fact Labels On Food Set To Change

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Nutritional Fact Labels On Food Set To Change

After a recent study found that America has the highest obesity rates of any developed country, the Food and Drug Administration announced it will reveal changes to nutrition labels on foods. The agency has been seeking to revise these labels since 2003, facing stiff opposition from those in the food industry. So don’t expect a major overhaul, but rather a shift toward more useful nutritional information about the foods that millions of us eat every day.

The changes could come as early as this year.

With obesity numbers such a concern, making the nutrition label more accurate is expected to be a reliable tool that people can use to make better, healthier food choices.

The FDA is concerned that current labels are not helpful enough to allow shoppers to make smart choices about what they eat, often in a single sitting, and some of the information on the labels is useless and should be removed.

The FDA wants the new labels to…

– Show accurate portion sizes – e.g. a 20-ounce soda will be listed as one serving instead of the 2.5 servings it lists now.

– This means calorie counts would be more accurate and more visible than they are now.

– Reduce visibility of % daily values ​​of nutrients such as fat and salt.

– Subtract total calories from fat

Created in 1992, the nutrition label is long overdue for an overhaul and there is no shortage of ideas to improve it.

The University of California, Berkeley and Good Magazine presented a remarkable 60 original designs. Red, yellow and green, like traffic lights, was a familiar visual system used to signal whether a food was good or bad. Thumbs up and thumbs down was another clue used in many of the designs. The winning idea has large blocks of color with each block representing a single ingredient in the food.

On the other hand, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (a group that includes 300 leading companies) representing the interests of the food industry tried to convince the FDA to abandon many of the changes.

They say the 20-year-old labels are familiar to consumers and are being adapted to different pack sizes. The industry succeeded in preventing some changes from being implemented – citing the amount of preservatives and the amount of food processing. Advocates worry that manufacturers and the government agency are too close for comfort… or meaningful change.

Others point out that it is against the interests of the food industry to help shoppers make better choices, because it means selling less product. If people are going to lose weight, eventually, they’re going to eat less, and that’s not good for food manufacturers.

Years ago you would have to chew 20 to 30 times per bite, today so many foods are so highly processed and so taste-stimulating that they go down in a stream of saliva…almost like adult baby food.

While not all processing is bad (skimmed milk, lean meat and frozen vegetables are examples where it’s a boon) knowing how many steps the food has gone through would certainly be helpful.

Watch for more news once the FDA unveils the new nutrition facts labels.

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