When I was a child in the 1970s my mother was one of the original supporters of a group called the Center for Science in the Public Interest. At the time they were petitioning for those now omnipresent nutrition labels on food which indicate fat, sugar, sodium and other statistics. The food companies said they were not necessary and that people did not need this excessive information since the ingredients were already on the bag.
Of course we all know what happened. The law passed. While junk food did not disappear, people did change what they ate once they knew what was in their food. The lunch that most of my friends ate, baloney and mayonnaise on Wonder bread with a side of cheese puffs and a Twinkie, is no longer socially acceptable, and it has been eerily replaced by the lunch my mother insisted on for us and which led to some teasing, namely peanut butter on whole wheat with juice, a piece of fruit and a granola bar. It doesn’t even sound that healthy anymore.
My mother swore that someday I would thank her for that weird lunch and everybody would know that my lunch was healthier. She swore that someday lots of people would try to avoid additives and preservatives.
She was, of course, correct.
Now we are up against a similar issue around labeling GMOs. The vote is only in California, but it will alter food labels nationwide. And my guess is that once again people will change what they eat once they understand what they are eating.
I like laws like this because they do not tell anyone what to do. They simply ensure that people who want to make an informed choice have that option.
For a hilarious look at the issue, check out the YouTube video below. One word of warning, there is a swear word in there, so it is more of a PG video.
And if you live in California, please vote for for Prop 37. I think we can handle the truth. The truth will not make my head explode.