Along with my usual wake-me-up cup this morning, I started the day with a test. A quiz on Slate asks you to look at a list of ingredients on the label of a ready-made store-bought snack — you know, the sort of crunchy, salty, fizzy, sweet things we occasionally crave — then match the ingredients to one of four actual items. Cake, I thought.
But I bombed. Honestly, I think I’m a lazy label reader — lazy and in denial. If I set my mind on something that lacks nutritional value, I don’t really want to know what’s in it. (Last night it was a package of Butterfingers at the movie; 19 ingredients to be exact.)
By choice, most foods we eat around here don’t have ingredient labels (think strawberries), or if they do, they’re pretty short labels. We try to stick to Michael Pollan’s advice to eat the “quiet foods” around the perimeter of the supermarket; you know, the ones that make no health claims and sport few ingredients.
But on occasion I do eat junk. And from now on, I’m going to study the labels when I do. You never know when there might be a quiz.
Have you planned your summer holiday yet? Here's our idea: gorge at the best barbecue joints around the country, visit an eco-resort in St. Tropez or a green hotel in Utah, meet up with friends for happy hour in Honolulu; then check out our other features for July, from grilling recipes to sexy summer wines and the top 10 new cars.