Food Labels

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HED 120: Food Labels

What are Food Labels?

Food Labels are the “best source of consumer information”. 90% of ALL processed and packaged foods must have a “consumer friendly” label. The new nutrition label (1994) features more consistent serving sizes and must include the following dietary components:

 

  • Total calories
  • Total fat content
  • Cholesterol
  • Fat grams
  • Sodium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calories
  • Amount of saturated fats
  • Protein grams
  • Carbohydrate grams
  • Dietary fiber
  • Iron
  • Calcium

 

 

The food exempt from food labeling regulations are those with no appreciable amount of nutrients OR whose content varies from batch to batch, such as:

 

  • Deli and bakery items
  • Plain and unflavored teas and coffees
  • Various spices and flavorings
  • Food sold in restaurants
  • Labels are “voluntary” for fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat, poultry, or fish

 

The nutrition label (chart) must display serving size, nutrients per serving and % of daily values.  The nutrition information applies to one serving; if you ate two servings, you consumed twice the amount of calories and other nutrients listed on the label.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Task

Step 1

Collect 5 food labels and write the name of the food item AND the serving size of each below. Keep THESE labels in order throughout this assignment so you do not have to continue writing label name.

 

  1. Food Item: Serving Size:
  2. Food Item:     Serving Size:
  3. Food Item: Serving Size:
  4. Food Item: Serving Size:
  5. Food Item: Serving Size:

 

Step 2

List the first 4 ingredients from each of your labels.

 

  1. Ingredients:
  2. Ingredients:
  3. Ingredients:
  4. Ingredients:
  5. Ingredients:

 

 

Step 3

Do any of your food labels contain any special health “WARNINGS?”

(i.e. contains Phenylalanine)?   List what they may be. If there are no warnings, write “None”.

 

  1. Warning:
  2. Warning:
  3. Warning:
  4. Warning:
  5. Warning:

Step 4

Compare your labels to each other. For each item write the TOTAL CALORIES per 1 serving.

 

  1. Total calories:
  2. Total calories:
  3. Total calories:
  4. Total calories:
  5. Total calories:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST NUMBER of calories per serving?

 

Step 5

Write the TOTAL FAT content in grams for each of your items.

 

  1. Total fat:
  2. Total fat:
  3. Total fat:
  4. Total fat:
  5. Total fat:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST AMOUNT of fat in grams per serving?

 

Step 6

List the amount of SATURATED FATTY ACIDS for each item. If a food item does not contain any, write “None”.

 

  1. Saturated fat:
  2. Saturated fat:
  3. Saturated fat:
  4. Saturated fat:
  5. Saturated fat:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST AMOUNT of saturated fat?

Step 7

List the amount of PROTEIN in grams per serving.

 

  1. Protein:
  2. Protein:
  3. Protein:
  4. Protein:
  5. Protein:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST AMOUNT of protein?

 

Step 8

List the amount of CHOLESTEROL that each item has. If a food item does not contain any, write “None”.

 

  1. Cholesterol:
  2. Cholesterol:
  3. Cholesterol:
  4. Cholesterol:
  5. Cholesterol:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST AMOUNT of cholesterol?

 

Step 9

List the milligrams of SODIUM for each item.

 

  1. Sodium:
  2. Sodium:
  3. Sodium:
  4. Sodium:
  5. Sodium:
  6. Which item has the GREATEST AMOUNT of sodium?

Step 10

Answer the following questions. Please make sure to also include the % Daily Value that is listed next to the nutrient.

  1. Which item has the greatest amount of IRON? How much (%)?

 

  1. Which item has the greatest amount of CALCIUM? How much (%)?

 

  1. Which item has the greatest amount of VITAMIN A? How much (%)?

 

  1. Which item has the greatest amount of VITAMIN C? How much (%)?

 

 

Step 11

Do any of your labels have any KOSHER symbols? Simply write ”Yes” or “No”. Please note: these are usually found elsewhere on the product, not on the actual food label!

 

  1. Symbol?
  2. Symbol?
  3. Symbol?
  4. Symbol?
  5. Symbol?

Step 12

Do any of your labels make any HEALTH CLAIMS (examples provided below)? Write “Yes” or “No”. If yes, then what health claim(s) are made? Please note: these are usually found elsewhere on the product, not on the actual food label!

 

 

  • Calcium preventing osteoporosis
  • Fat and its association with cancer
  • Saturated fat/cholesterol and heart disease
  • A high-fiber grain product preventing some cancers
  • Folate and neural tube defects
  • Fruits and vegetables reducing certain cancers
  • Sodium and high blood pressure
  • Fruits/vegetables/grains reducing heart disease

 

 

  1. Claim:
  2. Claim:
  3. Claim:
  4. Claim:
  5. Claim:

 

Step 13

Are there any “SAFE HANDLING” instructions on your food labels (examples provided below)? Write “Yes” or “No”. If yes, then what instructions are given? Please note: these are usually found elsewhere on the product, not on the actual food label!

 

  • Keep refrigerated or frozen
  • Cook thoroughly
  • Keep hot foods hot
  • Refrigerate leftovers
  • Keep meat separate from other foods
  • Wash work surfaces/hands/utensils are touching raw meat

 

 

  1. Instructions:
  2. Instructions:
  3. Instructions:
  4. Instructions:
  5. Instructions:

 

Step 14

Does your food item have a DATE listed? Write the type of date, and the date given for each food item. Please note: these are usually found elsewhere on the product, not on the actual food label!

 

  1. Date Type/Date:
  2. Date Type/Date:
  3. Date Type/Date:
  4. Date Type/Date:
  5. Date Type/Date:

 

 

Step 14

Answer the following question: Did any of your items surprise you with its contents or ingredients?

 

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