Lindsay Watts, RD
People make hundreds of decisions each day: what to wear, what to eat, which route to take to work, and many others. Some decisions are automatic, but others take careful thought and consideration. Few decisions are as personal as what you choose to feed yourself and your family. Now, more than ever, people want to know what is in their food, how their food is made, and the values of the people and organizations who make it. We have endless ways to gather information about the food we eat, yet sometimes this information conflicts and causes confusion. Explore these reliable resources so you can stay informed and make the best decision for your family.
Start with the Label: Nutrition facts panels and ingredient statements are a great place to find information on packaged foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) closely regulate how food manufacturers talk about their products, including ingredients and nutrition. Claims like “healthy”, “good source of protein”, and “organic” must meet certain nutrition requirements. Regulations also mandate standardized serving sizes on products, which allows people to compare one product to another and make the decision that is right for them. For more information on how to read labels visit the FDA website.
Beyond the Label: Food manufacturers can only fit a limited amount of information on a label. If the label does not answer all of your questions, look to the company’s website. Manufacturer websites often provide more information on why products use certain ingredients, how the food is made, and more. In many cases, companies consult with food science and nutrition experts to educate consumers about their products. Campbell’s www.whatsinmyfood.com and www.campbellnutrition.com are examples of where you can find more information on ingredients and nutrition.
Social Issues, Company Values, and More: The values and beliefs that guide a company can be important considerations when deciding which foods to purchase. Manufacturers often share information on their values and commitments in public reports and on corporate websites. Corporate social responsibility reports provide information on a company’s commitments to sustainability and public health, measure their progress, and explain how they give back to their communities. Corporate websites share information on the company’s values and where they stand on issues that matter to consumers. Other industry reports, such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, provide information on how companies address health and sustainability, and other good business practices.
We can find an endless amount of information on food, nutrition, ingredients, and more at the tip of our fingers. But, like anything, we want to make sure we have reliable sources to make informed decisions on the foods and products we purchase. Campbell is committed to setting the standard for transparency in the food industry. Visit www.whatsinmyfood.com for more information on our products and connect with us. If we do not answer all of your questions, you can contact us for the information you need.
Lindsay's BioLindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University. Currently, Lindsay is studying for her masters of science in Health Communications and Marketing with Boston University.