A Better Food Label

Several years ago, author and former columnist with the New York Times, Mark Bittman, “worked with Werner Design Werks of St. Paul [, MN] to devise a food label that, at perhaps little more than a glance … could tell a story about three key elements of any packaged food and can provide an overall traffic-light-style recommendation or warning.” See the screenshot above for descriptions of nutrition, foodness, and welfare, as well as the traffic-light guide for the quickest judgment of a food’s quality.

While it doesn’t capture all of the components of how the Michigan Good Food Charter rates good food — that affordable is placed elsewhere on the package, the price tag — it does a pretty good job of capturing what’s important. I’m intrigued by this food label.

I’m not going to bog this entry down with what eventually becomes the most significant hurdle if this label were ever deemed the standard — i.e., who is responsible for assigning the scores? For now, I’d just like to ask real, good food foodies to consider how such a labeling system could help you make informed grocery shopping decisions if you happened to trust the scorers.

By all means, comment below if you have an opinion on this food label.


Joyfully married to Rebecca. Friend to my pup, Luca. Passionate about justice. Love gardening, blogging, and dark chocolate.

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