Five Things to Consider When Packing a Healthy Lunch

Good Guide
September 1, 2009

Organic

There are four levels of Organic defined by USDA Guidelines:

1. 100% Organic: Displays the USDA Organic seal. Used when all of the ingredients and methods are organic.
2. Organic: Displays the USDA Organic seal. Used when 95% or of ingredients are organic.
3. Made with Organic: Does not display the seal. Used when 70% of the ingredients are organic.
4. Products with less than 70% organic ingredients can use Organic references on the side of the package only.

Banned Food Coloring

Two recent studies have shown an association between food dyes and hyperactivity in children. Based on this, the UK's Food Standards Agency issued a request for food manufacturers to voluntarily ban six artificial food colors.

In 2008, the European Parliament approved a warning for packages of foods containing these dyes. It states: "May have an adverse effect on the activity and attention in children."

See the list of food dyes.

Brands

It's easy to forget that people work incredibly hard in often dangerous jobs at every stage in the production of food. A recent report by the International Labor Rights Fund named three food companies on their list of the Five Worst Companies for the Right to Associate.

Look for the TransFair USA label on brands that pay a fair wage, allow workers to organize, and support independent farms.

Click here to learn more about the social impacts of your brand choices.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) accounts for 10% of all calories in the overall U.S. diet, according to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. The USDA estimates that the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of HFCS every day! This cheap sweetener has been subsidized by the government since the early 1970s.

HFCS is in many surprising categories of food, like bread and yogurt.

Click here for more information on High Fructose Corn Syrup.

You can read the rest of this article -- and find even more great information -- at GoodGuide.com.

 

 

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