Two recent articles pertaining to food labeling: First, Gustave Axelson recaps the labels vying for your attention as you shop for bird-friendly coffee.
…coffee sellers don’t always advertise that their coffee is Bird Friendly. “Probably about only 10 percent of coffee from Bird Friendly certified farms carries the Bird Friendly stamp on the package,” said Robert Rice, a research scientist at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center.
For example, Starbucks and Whole Foods sell some coffee from Bird Friendly certified farms. But they don’t see the need to make room on their packaging for a separate label that appeals to a relatively small—and silent—minority: birders.
Next, Mark Bittman proposes labels for packaged food that put the information you need right up front. A caption to the print version of the story recommends scanning the standardized list of ingredients in today’s packaging, not necessarily reading it in full:
…if the list of ingredients spans an entire paragraph, chances are you don’t need it.
I like Bittman’s red-yellow-green color codes, and I like the prominence of the Welfare measure. It would be nice to give more visibility to ingredients to which various consumers are allergic or intolerant.