Cover photo from UPI story
First Lady, cough, Michelle Obama doesn’t seem to have much going on to fill the hours. A couple years ago she messed with school lunches to the point that teenagers developed black markets for salt, pepper, and real food in the stairwells in the nation’s high schools. Last year, she decided to make S’mores more healthy, a definite abomination that was summarily ignored. This year…this year she’s calorie shaming.
What is calorie shaming? Well, in giving the American food supply’s labeling system a makeover, the Food and Drug Administration, as announced at Michelle’s “Move On” shindig on Friday, had the graphic designers make the number of calories per serving REALLY BIG so that absolutely everyone can see just how many calories any one person is consuming at one sittng.
In one way, since the serving sizes in the previous labelling were always based on measurements or approximations with an estimated number of servings per package, and now single use containers and baggies will use adjusted to make the contents of the unit the serving size, this change on that packaging is most convenient for the calorie counters among us. On the other hand, just eating from a bagful of snack chips or cookies might get embarrassing.
“This is going to make a real difference in providing families across the country the information they need to make healthy choices,” the first lady said in a statement.
Given the reality that not all calories are created equal, and that the mega calories in meat actually are accompanied by a whole lot of nutrients that humans can’t get otherwise with food, and that fresh fruits and vegetables are different shapes and sizes, putting this information on fresh foods packaging is akin to putting lipstick on a palmogranite. (The better indicator of how healthy food is is the ingredients list. If you can’t pronounce it….)
Since food science (don’t they mean formulation?) has changed, the labels now need to as well, or so they tell us. Other tweaking done to the labels:
- A line for sugars at the request of nutritionists (it’s already there for some foods) will be added
- Calculations for Potassium and Vitamin D will be added.
- Amounts of Vitamins A and C will no longer be required.
- Amounts for calcium and iron will stay (and hopefully sodium for those of us who have sodium/joint issues).
Percentages, of course, of the recommended daily allowance of the objectionable stuff (like sodium, sugars, and trans fats) will be based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet that next to no one eats. The grocery and food industries have two years to comply.
Now it’s time to race to the periphery of the store with a stop in the nuts aisle. More info at Yahoo.