Sunday, October 5, 2008

Label Rant

Why are labels becoming so idiotic?  Have we, as a nation of consumers, become so dumb and illiterate that we have no clue what ingredients are in the foods we eat?

Example number one:  the package of grated Parmesan cheese sitting in the refrigerator has the words "Allergy Warning: made from milk" right below the word cheese on the label.  The last time I looked,  the definition of cheese was 
cheese 1  (chz)
a. A solid food prepared from the pressed curd of milk, often seasoned and aged.
b. A molded mass of this substance.
2. Something resembling this substance in shape or consistency.
(From The Free Dictionary by FarLex)

Seems rather pointless to put the allergy warning given the definition of the product, doesn't it?

Example number two: the jar of peanut butter in the pantry has the words "Allergy Warning: made from peanuts" on the label just below the word peanut.  Once again a pretty simpleminded warning given the definition of peanut butter is 
peanut butter
A paste made from ground roasted peanuts.
(From The Free Dictionary by FarLex)

The only way that either of these warnings could serve a useful purpose is if the consumer lacked a basic understanding of the English language, knowing not the meaning of cheese and peanut butter.  But if that were the case, what good does it do to add the words allergy and warning and milk and peanut to the label.  Presumably, if one didn't understand cheese, one wouldn't understand milk.  And if you don't get what peanut butter is, will the words peanut, allergy, and warning convey anything more?

There might be a legitimate point in such redundant warnings on our food.  I just can't spot it. Those of us who grew up on farms and live in farming communities really wonder what sort of idiot needs those warnings. I suspect most of you are curious as well. We're all afraid to meet them because we have a deep suspicion they are related to that other class of idiots - lawyers.  

Oh well.  I guess they must be the same ones that needed the warning on the steak knives I once won in a raffle - Caution: Edges may be sharp and cause bodily injury! I  sure as heck hope the edges are sharp and cut things. Otherwise I might want to cause some bodily injury to the manufacturer.


  1. Oh my, it must be because of potential lawsuits. When did common sense go by the wayside?

  2. OMG, you mean peanut butter is NOT made from butter?!? What until I tell my husband! (snort)


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