The descriptive ““conventions”” used on food labels are always evolving. Today, however, the changes are so complicated (partly driven by legislation requiring disclosures about environmental impacts, health issues, and geographical provenance) that these labels more often baffle buyers than enlighten them. In a light-handed manner, the article points to how sometimes reading label language can be like deciphering runes——and how if we are familiar with the technical terms, we can find a literal meaning, but still not see the implications. The article could be ten times longer because food labels vary according to cultures——but all food-exporting cultures now take advantage of our short attention-span when faced with these texts. The question is whether less is more——and if so, in this contest for our attention, what ““contestant”” is voted off.
Research Article| February 01 2010
Like Your Labels?
michele field writes about ““cradle to cradle”” protocols in both food and manufacturing cycles. Her most recent essay investigated the environmental dangers created by sweeteners like sucralose; she believes that labels explain far less than consumers need to know. Her previous writing for Gastronomica explored some likely ways that climate change will affect familiar tastes.
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Gastronomica (2010) 10 (1): 91–96.
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michele field; Like Your Labels?. Gastronomica 1 February 2010; 10 (1): 91–96. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2010.10.1.91
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