I realize that in the month of August I’ve had a bit of a food focus. There was the best crab cake of my life blog, the Global Obesity Prevention Center blog and now a blog on food labels. In reality I’m not typically a foodie and I don’t find nutrition to be my particular public health passion. However, I recently saw on the JHSPH Facebook feed a WIRED article on redesigning food labels. As someone who does dissect the food labels quite a bit, my attention was caught. The result is fascinating.
Basically, WIRED designed a food label based on an idea from a nutrition professor at New York University and the label that the Bloomberg School’s very own Alan Goldberg is creating. In general, I would prefer a food label that follows more updated nutritional guidelines and is easier for the common man to decipher. However, what’s gotten me thinking is Goldberg’s addition. As a toxicologist, Goldberg is suggesting a way to communicate the ecological and ethical quality of a food item in a standard format. Not just food allergens, but the risk level for food-borne illness and a glycaemia index to whether it is “Water Wise” and how the product impacts animal and worker well-being. I am fascinated. It’s a whole new approach to food labeling. Take a look at the suggested labeling in the WIRED article.
I’d also like to take a moment and say if nutrition is your particular public health passion, take a look at our Center for Human Nutrition. The center takes a lot of different approaches to nutrition, from education to the obesity epidemic, agriculture to preventing cancer and biomarkers, there might be a place for your research interests.