Good Food Blog
What's not on the labelPosted at 2:38PM, 29 January 2009 by Lulu Grimes - Deputy editor, olive magazine
I find myself getting increasingly incensed by cynical labelling. I love food shopping, I can spend hours trundling up and down food aisles and round markets examining packages in depth but I don't always have time. Sometime I have to just throw stuff in the basket and move on. That's when the wool gets pulled over my eyes by the labelling.
Take juices and fruit drinks, I usually buy Rocks organic squash but they'd run out so I grabbed Robinsons instead. 'No added sugar' says the label on the front in big print, I stupidly take that to mean that the fruit is sweet enough. Ha. Sweeteners (aspatame, saccharin) says the small print on the back. Aspartame (aka Equal, Canderel and NutraSweet) I am not keen on, mainly because I don't believe in eating or drinking chemicals when there is a natural alternative. And by the way, should someone try and slip it past you in another form it is also known as E951.
I don't believe in eating or drinking chemicals when there is a natural alternative
As for the Fruit Shoots I picked up at the same time because we had kids visiting, No Artificial Sweeteners, No Artificial Colours shouts the front. This is what it says on the back. Water, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Fruit Juices from Concentrate (Blackcurrant 5%, Apple 4%), Sugar, Citric Acid, Stabiliser (Xanthan Gum), Vitamins (C, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, B6), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Natural Flavouring, Preservatives (Potassium Sorbate, Dimethyl Dicarbonate), Natural Colour (Anthocyanins). A big tick to them for just using sugar but this really does have too many ingredients to be nice. Ugh.
We are working on a piece about GM food for the April issue of olive at the moment, another thing to look out for on labels if you are keen to avoid it.
So what drives you mad about labeling? Have you found anything in the small print that makes you really cross? Please share.