Below, we have provided six reasons why food labelling is crucial:
1. Keeps you healthy
Labels inform the consumer of the nutritional composition of the food product they are buying, which includes its vitamin, mineral, protein, fat, and carbohydrate content. With this information, you are able to determine whether the food you are taking is good for you. Labels allow you to track your intake of various micronutrients which helps you to avoid deficiencies such as iron and Vitamin D, which are quite prevalent.
Monitoring your calorie and saturated fat intake allows you to better manage your weight. Limiting your intake of sugar and salt is instrumental in ensuring that your diet remains as healthy as possible.
These measures combined will go a long way in preventing illnesses such as diabetes and certain types of heart disease. If you are a business then you may want to look at the different types of business stickers.
2. Keeps you safe
Did you know that each year, over 600 million people fall sick and 420,000 others die from eating foods contaminated with toxins, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and chemicals? Through labels, food manufacturers are able to provide consumers with warnings and crucial information regarding how to use and handle a product (for instance, cooking and storage instructions) to keep it safe.
3. Helps you to avoid counterfeit products
One of the primary purposes of food labelling is to prevent fraud. The presence of internationally guaranteed labels makes it more difficult for food sellers to mislead their customers by providing false information on their packaging. You want to be sure that when you buy chocolate or any other product, you are actually buying the chocolate or product being presented.
5. Alerts you of any ingredients that could be harmful to you
10-25% of the population in first-world countries suffers from some type of food allergy. Milk, peanuts, soybeans, eggs, fish, wheat, tree nuts, and crustaceans are some of the most common allergenic food. When you are not aware of the ingredients contained in the food you are eating, you can mistakenly eat something that you are allergic to, some of which can cause severe allergic reactions. With food labels, you are able to know what foods to avoid.
6. Helps you to avoid wasting food
Many people end up throwing out good food without even knowing it. While the date marking on food labels helps you to know for how long a product is safe to consume, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the terms “best before” and “use by”. The “use by” date lets you know if a product is safe to eat and helps you to avoid food poisoning. On the other hand, the “best before” date is focused on the quality of the food rather than its safety. It is estimated that in the EU, 10% of the food that is wasted is associated with confusion arising from the date marking. It is thus important to educate consumers as well as supply chain stakeholders to avoid this kind of food wastage and also ensure that date marking stays true to its purpose of ensuring food safety.
7. Helps to support local food producers
There are labels that show the origin of the food, for instance, Manchego cheese (Spain), Kona Coffee (USA), Darjeeling tea (India), and Colombian Coffee (Colombia), tend to attract more attention to a product and add more value to a product. This eventually brings more value to the producer. Nowadays, consumers tend to associate certain characteristics such as taste and quality with geographic locations. According to a study conducted by EBRD and FAO, food products with a label indicating the geographic origin of the food can see the price of the food products increase by 20 – 50%.
When enjoying your favourite snack or product, it can be easy to ignore the food label. For most people, food labels are just another seemingly boring piece of writing demanding your attention. However, this information is there for your own good. It is important that you pay as much attention to it as possible to keep in control of your health.