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What's in a Label?

Recent events - from mislabeled beef in Europe to mislabeled fish in the US - have shown that we need to be every more vigilant about the food we eat and where it is sourced from.

In today's New York Times, I read a disturbing article about fish (see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/21/us/survey-finds-that-fish-are-often-not-what-label-says.html?_r=0). According to the article, recent research by a nonprofit group called Oceanea indicates that the fish we purchase may not actually be what their label indicates. 

While it may indeed be difficult to differentiate between certain types of fish, the mis-labeling becomes a problem when it is hazardous to a consumer's health. For instance, tilefish - which has a high mercury content - was sold as tilefish. Similarly, farmed salmon - which is often full of pesticides and other chemicals - was sold as wild salmon.

Last week, a similar event occurred in Europe, where it was discovered that horse meat was being sold as beef in frozen dinners (see http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/horse-meat-scandal-is-the-era-of-cheap-food-over/). The scandal was made worse by the fact that a strong drug used for horses was found in the food chain.

In both these cases, it appears that companies' economic profits took precedence over the health and wellbeing of consumers. This, to me, is very troubling news and suggests that we need to be even more careful and pro-active about the food we eat and where it comes from. We should also focus more on the quality of the food we eat over quantity. After all, cheap food is not really cheaper if it can be harmful to our health.

Rachel Khanna is a Certified Health Counselor. She resides with her husband and four daughters in Greenwich. Visit her website at: http://www.liveeatcookhealthy.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Leslie Yager February 23, 2013 at 11:08 PM
This is great. Whenever I'm in a restaurant and order wild salmon, I suspect 3/4 of the time I'm getting farmed salmon.
Glen K Dunbar February 23, 2013 at 11:17 PM
Rachel. I LOVE Greenwich. I unfortunately live here in New Canaan. As for the labels. I feel all foods in the store need to be labeled properly and honestly.

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