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Do you find the American nutrition label on foods hard to understand and too information dense? If so, here is your opportunity to get your voice heard. Hosted by hosted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism’s News21 and Good magazine online, Americans are being challenged to redesign the nutrition label.
What’s wrong with the current nutrition label?
A lot, actually. Modern design seeks to communicate importance and order through symbols. The current nutrition label is nothing more than a list of different nutrients and percentages – hardly a shining example of modern design. How many times have you stood in the cereal aisle, holding a box in each hand, trying to read wach label to see which box is healthier? For most Americans, this happens more than we would like. We are an on-the-go culture, so slowing down to read food labels is a tedious task, even for the most health conscious shoppers.
Nutrition experts, public figures, and designers agree that the nutrition label needs a redesign.
According to journalist and real food activist Michael Pollan,
Very few people use it and many find it confusing. The focus on nutrients is probably inevitable but it distracts from the issue, whether you’re getting real food or not. Fiber for example is a slippery category, there are different types, and so manufacturers can game the system by adding irrelevant inert materials to food. Soluble and insoluble are different and the fiber in grain or fruit, for example, is important possibly because of what accompanies it, so how do you capture that?
Pollan is a judge in the Rethink the Food Label challenge, along with:
- Designer and photographer Laura Brunow Miner
- Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, Dr. Robert Lustig, M.D.
- Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture of K.U.Leuven, Belgium, Andrew Vande Moere
Think you have a good idea for a food label redesign? Learn more about submission requirements at GOOD Magazine. The winner will be announced on July 15, so get designing!
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