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Paul Keleher
May 28th, 2013

How Much do Labels Really Tell You?



Which eggs should I buy for my family –– “cage free,” “free range,” or “natural”? What about beef –– “organic,” “hormone free,” or “grass fed”? If you feel overwhelmed by the growing number of labels on the meat and dairy products in grocery stores, you are not alone. Driven by consumers’ growing concern about food safety, the food industry is labeling its products with more and more claims about how it produces what we eat.

Unfortunately, not all labels are created equal. The increasingly abundant information and claims on food labels should help us navigate the maze of choices, but, in reality, they often leave us wondering just how to sort it all out. This fact sheet is designed to help by going behind the scenes to explain what these labels really tell you (or don’t tell you).