Food & Fitness

The Food Label Movement

I usually update my experiences with HITT at Aspire Fitness on Wednesdays, but this week I’m pushing that blog post to Friday because there’s something I am so excited about that I cannot wait until Friday to share it with you…

The Food Label Movement website has been launched!

This is the project that I’ve been hinting at for the past few months (yes, I’m still working on two books, but those have slid further down my list of priorities while this website has been my main focus). Check it out at www.thefoodlabelmovement.org.

So what exactly is The Food Label Movement?

I have co-founded The Food Label Movement with my nutritionist friend, Nicole. We are both passionate about food and equally passionate about our frustration with the food industry. It’s great that there even are nutrition labels and ingredient lists on food packages, but there is a lot of missing information on these packages, such as a lack of differentiation between natural and added sugars, and difficulty in comparing brands because there is no standardized portion size.

We want to see change. We want to see a food label on packages that everyone can understand. If a nutritionist and a health writer still sometimes struggle with reading food labels, how are regular people supposed to glean important information from them?

A large part of what we are doing with The Food Label Movement is organizing a march to take place here in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the summer of next year. The date has yet to be confirmed, but I’ll keep you all posted! Winnipeggers are welcome to come out to march for improved labelling laws, and anyone else around the globe is wholeheartedly encouraged to make the roadtrip 😀

What do we mean by “food labels”?

We mean all of it: the front of the food package, the nutrition facts table, the ingredient list. We also think it’s important for restaurants to disclose this kind of information.

How can you get involved?

I’m so glad you’re interested 😉 There’s a few different ways that you can get involved:

  • The second thing that you can do is sign our petition. The petition, entitled Improving Nutrition Labels (it can be found at the Care2 Petitionsite), is central to the Movement. The more signatures that we get, the more that the people in power will see how important it is to consumers to know what we are eating. Sign the petition and share the link with friends and family. Food labels affect all of us and the more we can increase transparency between consumers and food manufacturers, the better.
  • Third, talk to us. Tell us what you would change on food labels if you had that power. Share your ideas for how we can all improve our health with reading food labels. Send us links to resources that you have found helpful and to upcoming conferences. The Food Label Movement is a Canadian organization and we are appealing to the Canadian government, but this is a global issue: everyone can get on board! You can start a petition appealing to your government, too.
  • Fourth, you can support the cause by donating to us through Paypal. We really appreciate any monetary help that we can get because we are making posters and trying to organize social events in order to spread awareness out of our own pocket. The Food Label Movement is all about transparency, so we’ll tell you exactly what your donations are going towards. You can even make a special request for what you would like your money to be put towards! We will honour any of these requests.
  • We are also currently looking for sponsors for The Food Label Movement. This would essentially be businesses paying a small fee (to help pay for posters and such) in order for us to advertise for them (both on the website and through social events). If you have a business or know of a business that would be interested in and support our cause, please let us know.

You can always contact me at sagan.morrow@gmail.com, or you can contact Nicole and I both through thefoodlabelmovement@gmail.com (she has the nutrition background and I have the communications background, so in all likelihood it will be me that you’ll be corresponding with via The Food Label Movement e-mail account :)).

Your thoughts: how do you feel about food labels? Is this a movement that you can get behind?

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13 Comments

  1. Geosomin

    I think it’s a great idea. I know I’m more of a complainer about household cleaners and their lack of ingredients, but more and more (since I’ve been really reading food labels to try and eat as little chemical crap as possible) I find labels to be frustrating and way too complicated or misleading. Ingredients like “natural flavours” are a pointless description. Portion sizes that no rational human would eat are also a PITA…I mean who eats half a chocolate bar? 1/4 c of cereal?
    It really came to light when my sister realized she was celiac along with a bunch of other fun food allergies. Shopping for family gatherings can be a major pain, moreso with food labelling being so incomplete we often try our best and end up with stuff that makes her ill.
    I don’t know how much I can help, but I’m in Canada too, so I’d really like to help with this…I’ll check out the website when I get the chance :)

    1. Sagan Morrow

      Great point about the vagueness of “natural flavours” – it can mean just about anything!

      I measured out my cereal this morning; 2/3 cup is the serving size but my bowl fits 2 servings. If I only had 2/3 cup, I’d be raiding the pantry ten minutes later.

      So glad you want to get involved! For sure check out the website :)

  2. Pingback: What’s Up Saturday – 10.2.10 | Say Yes to Salad

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