We’re used to seeing the Energy Star rating system on our appliances, but are we ready to see it on our food? With so much interest in how Americans are eating lately, it’s no wonder that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is proposing a change in the current food labeling system in an effort to declutter the nutrition claim overload seen on today’s food packaging.
The proposed labeling, which would appear on the front of packages and highlight a few top nutrients consumers are interested in, would allow consumers to more easily identify healthy options without having to spend too much time reading small print or interpreting the variety of health claims plastered on many of the products lining grocery store shelves.
Yet this isn’t the first front-of-package label to be introduced to consumers. In fact, the IOM’s label is just one of many new labels being touted as the “next best thing” in food packaging. Food companies have already begun to introduce their own line of similar labels designed to point out what makes their product better than their competitor’s variety. In fact, the IOM has quite the battle ahead as it attempts to put their unique mark on the foods we eat. Unfortunately, in the heat of that battle, consumers seeking better food choices may suffer in the short-term as they continue to make attempts to decode each unique food labeling system currently available.