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n pitching new, improved nutrition labels at the White House on Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama tried to identify with women who do the grocery shopping for their families. Her message was aimed at mothers who want to buy healthy food and depend on labels to help them do that:
"So there you stood, alone in some aisle in a store, the clock ticking away at the precious little time remaining to complete your weekly grocery shopping, and all you could do was scratch your head, confused and bewildered, and wonder, is there too much sugar in this product? Is 50 percent of the daily allowance of riboflavin a good thing or a bad thing? And how on Earth could this teeny little package contain five whole servings?
"This stream of questions and worries running through your head when all you really wanted to know was, should I be eating this or not? Is this good for my kids or not? And if it is healthy, how much of it should I be eating? But unless you had a thesaurus, a calculator, a microscope, or a degree in nutrition, you were out of luck. So you felt defeated, and you just gave up and went back to buying the same stuff you always buy.
The only confusion I have is how to stretch a shrinking dollar to cover an inflating cost of living. Try buying whole foods with the same budget you had a couple years ago when all the food does is get more expensive.
I don't think she was implying that American mom's are stupid or was she condescending. She was describing a hypothetical situation in which it can be difficult and time consuming to decide whether or not particular foods are healthy just by their nutrition labels.
I'm an executive chef and it is my job to cater to the needs of our clients. For example, I am feeding 200 people tonight. A few of them have Celiac disease (gluten free) and 5 diabetics. I have to pay close attention to what I feed them and had to look at the nutritional labels on the food I am serving to ensure their needs are met properly. If you don't know what to look for on the labels, how do you know if it's healthy or can eat it at all if you have special needs?
Even though I find her example to not be the "norm", I think it is a good idea to have better information on the labels and make it easier for a person to make the decisions that fit their needs best.