Mark Bittman’s Dream Food Label

At Taylor’s school the cafeteria labels all food options with a green, yellow, or red sticker to indicate the level of healthiness.  I was reminded of this when Mark Bittman wrote an article for NY Times called “My Dream Food Label“.  He looks at three categories to come up with the green, yellow, and red color coding:

  • Nutrition – Pretty self-explanatory
  • Foodness – A measure of how close a product is to being real, unprocessed food
  • Welfare – A measure of the impact of the food’s production on the overall welfare of everything involved

Each category is ranked on a scale of 1 to 5 and then summed up  (MATH!).  A total score of 11 to 15 is green, 6-10 is yellow, and 0-5 is red.  I think it is a great way to incorporate the many different aspects of what makes a food “good”.  Unfortunately I don’t see something like this becoming regulated because large companies like Kellogg doesn’t want to stick a red label on their Fruit Loops.  However, it is a good way to think through purchases in your head.


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