Mark Bittman's Ideal Nutrition Label

Mark Bittman's Ideal Nutrition Label

Cambria Bold
Oct 24, 2012

From the perspective of cooks, eaters, and grocery shoppers, what would an ideal food label look like? What would be helpful to know about a given packaged food that we can't determine right now from the current labels? Here's what Mark Bittman thinks:

In a recent column for The New York Times Mark Bittman says that making choices purely based on dietary guidelines isn't good enough.

We need to consider the well-being of the earth (and all that that means, like climate, and soil, water and air quality), the people who grow and prepare our food, the animals we eat, the overall wholesomeness of the food -- what you might call its "foodness" (once the word "natural" might have served, but that's been completely co-opted), as opposed to its fakeness. ("Foodness" is a tricky, perhaps even silly word, but it expresses what it should. Think about the spectrum from fruit to Froot Loops or from chicken to Chicken McNuggets and you understand it.) These are considerations that even the organic label fails to take into account.

So, as a creative exercise in "what could be," Bittman worked with Werner Design Werks of St. Paul to devise a food label that tells the story of a packaged food in three key elements: Nutrition, Foodness, and Wellness. Each label would provide the food with an overall score between 1 and 15 and a color code. Green codes with an 11-15 point score can be eaten freely, while red codes with 0-5 points should be eaten rarely or never.

Read more about the thinking behind the label and each part at the article below.

→ Read More: My Dream Food Label | The New York Times

Related: What Does a Gram of Sugar, Salt, or Fat Really Look Like? We Show You!

(Images: Illustrations and labels by Werner Design Werks for The New York Times)

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