Allison Jorgens shares some fascinating information that can help us as consumers grow in awareness when it comes to the food choices we make. In the video, Allison helps us understand food labels—specifically Canadian labels—from the perspective of the claims, facts and regulations surrounding this topic.
When it comes to making the best choices and decisions for ourselves and our families, I don’t think anything can be more empowering than being equipped with the right knowledge. The more we know about a subject, and the more fully we understand how something works, the better position we are in to take action that is in our best interest. While this applies to every area of our lives, it is of extreme importance today especially when it comes to our food and health choices.
We live at a time when about three quarters (or more) of the average grocery store is filled with processed, packaged food. These food-like products are often manipulated in numerous ways that degrade the nutritional integrity, not to mention introduce a whole slew of chemicals, resulting in a product that is less than ideal for the health of the human body. Upon walking into a typical grocery store the consumer is bedazzled by attractive images, bright colors, and seductive health claims luring us with convenience to buy specific products. Added to this are nutrient numbers and ingredient names that are nothing short of trivial to decipher and make sense of. So what is a consumer to do today to not fall prey to clever marketing at the risk of their personal health, and that of their family?
One option, which more and more people are choosing today, is to restructure our life in a way that allows us to prioritize whole, natural foods, moving away from any reliance on prepackaged processed food. However due to various circumstances, most people in our population are unable to choose such a path and still rely, all too often heavily, on processed packaged food. But even in this case, there is hope.
In her newly released book, Read It with a Grain of Salt – The Truth about Canadian Food Labels from an Industry Insider author Allison Jorgens helps consumers unravel the mystery and learn about industry regulations, guidelines, and how to make sense of food labels. She sheds light on the facts and dispels myths, as well as misleading claims. To learn more, you can read my book review here: Read It With A Grain of Salt.
In the video interview, Allison covers and explains the following topics:
what does “read it with a grain of salt” mean
is it legal to sell food without labels, and how do some producers do it
how front package claims can be misleading
the role of images on food products, and how they can be misleading
why the list of ingredients is the most important part of the food label to read
is everything we see on the ingredients label all there is
understanding the presence of hidden ingredients
the significance of the order of ingredients listed on food packages
how additives at the end do not mean they are in least amount
what are class names, and why they are important
what hides in things like modified milk ingredients, natural flavours, etc.
how having zero of something does not mean the product is fully free of it, ex. 0 trans fats
how do companies come up with nutrient numbers
why don’t nutrient numbers always match up
why the labels have vitamin A, C, calcium and iron only listed typically
how to understand missing nutrients
what each consumer can do to empower themselves and help the system
To learn more about Allison and her work, you can visit her at: GrainOfSalt.ca