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by Kristen Ridley

July 30, 2010


As more and more Americans are renewing their interest in where their food comes from, food companies have made an effort to catch those sustainable food dollars while changing their products as little as possible. The easiest way to do this is through advertising, hiring skilled writers to tweak the wording on the label or extol marginally better production as sustainable. These underhanded tactics can befuddle contentious shoppers, leaving them wondering what precisely is meant by these vague terms and flowery language.

After years of carefully perusing labels and subsequently researching food companies, I’ve developed a sort of translation of some common advertising terms to help me suss out what’s really sustainable — a spin doctor-to-English dictionary, if you will. Ideally you would shop in a manner that allows you to ask the farmer yourself just how he or she produces food, but when that’s not an option, here’s a helpful guide to eight food label terms and what they actually mean. READ MORE…