Rethinking The Food Label To "Inspire Food Literacy"


image credit News21

The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism's News21 program and Good Magazine have shortlisted the three finalists in a competition to design a better food label. They "asked for designs that were informative, instructive and memorable." Their first prize winner, Renee Walker, (with the wonderful website address has created a design that is certainly all of that, but juror Michael Pollan worries about how it might represent more complex foods. He tells the New York Times:


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"Walker's design is dramatic, intriguing and holds great promise,'' said Mr. Pollan. "I liked being able to see the visual breakdown of foods, although I wonder how her design would work with more complicated products, like Lucky Charms, say, or a PowerBar. Even so, it's a step in the right direction. What I'd like to see next is some sort of color coding for the food groups and some attempt to show the degree of processing of various foods. Eating doesn't have to be complicated; figuring out what's in your food shouldn't be either."

Of course, one of Michael Pollan's food rules is that one should never eat anything with more than five ingredients. A jar of Ruffles Dip that a guest left at our place over the weekend has twenty-six; it would look like a Mondrian.

See all the winners (and vote for the people's choice) at Rethink the Food Label
More on food labels:
Ethical Food Labels Confuse Conscious Consumers
Should Individual Food Items Get Water Footprint Labels or Are We Already Overloaded With Information?

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