Consumer Reports: Understanding confusing food labels

Credit: WISC
Published on December 3, 2019 -
Consumer Reports gives tips on how to focus on the most meaningful food labels.
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Consumer Reports: Understanding confusing food labels

Starting at 6-30.

Grocery shopping can be overwhelming.

Foods are often packaged with a dizzying array of labels, sometimes with healthy sounding buzz words like organic, natural and cage-free.

But how do you know if those labels actually mean anything?

Dannika lewis for consumer reports cuts through the confusion to help you focus on the most meaningful food labels.

(natsound: chickens) (v/o) donna simons runs her own food co-op and teaching kitchen, but it's her farm that stands out for its eggs.

Chyron: donna simons, owner, pound ridge farm (sot) "my chickens have a pretty good life, they can forage naturally.

They are outdoors all day."

(vo) donna's farm is not typical.

-- once a year, it's thoroughly inspected by a greener world, a group that consumer reports says is free of conflicts of interest and performs unannounced farm visits, to earn the seal "animal welfare approved."

(sot: donna simons) "i feel that raising animals according to the highest standards is the most important thing i can do as a farmer, as a supplier of food and as an educator."

(vo) consumer reports says "animal welfare approved" is a seal worth searching out.

A recent guide by cr analyzed and rated many of the food- labeling seals and claims consumers encounter from the farmer's market to the supermarket.

Chyron: charlotte vallaeys, policy analyst, consumer reports (sot) "it's very hard for consumers to know which of these claims have a good definition behind them and good standards that meet their expectations."

(vo) take, for example, "all natural," pesticide free," or "no antibiotics."

In some cases those labels may be accurate, though shoppers can't always be sure because the claims are not well-defined or required to be properly verified.

Consumer reports says a better label to look for is -- (sot: charlotte vallaeys) "the usda organic seal is a very good one.

It's backed by federal law and federal regulations that are really quite comprehensive."

(vo) cr also highly rates seals like "non-gmo project verified," "certified humane raised and handled" and "american grassfed."

(v/o) bottom line: you might have to do a little homework, but at least you'll understand what the labels really mean.

(sot: charlotte vallaeys) "know which ones are meaningful, so that your purchasing decisions have the impact that you want them to have."

For all the steak and burger lovers, you might want to look for the "american grassfed" seal.

It means that the cattle graze on pasture and eat only grass their entire life.

These animals are not treated with antibiotics or growth hormones... and the farms are inspected every

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