The other side of the food label

Listen to this edition of Field Notes
What do food labels really say about what's inside? (Photo by Boris Mann (bmann)/

A free-range chicken isn’t a free-agent. It may only spend a portion of its day in the great outdoors. The rest of the time? Anywhere but a cage. Though, that information is not something you'll find spelled out for you on a package of chicken breast.

On this week's Field Notes: really listening to what food labels say, or don't say. Listen closely and read the fine print, because the thing is, the food industry spends a lot of time producing food, and they want to sure you buy their "All-Natura"' cartons of eggs -- or "Contains Real Fruit" boxes of fruit snacks that have more sugarthan strawberry concentrate. Navigating these claims as a consumer is simple
enough: ignore them or believe them. A farmer’s response is something more like, ‘oh no, you didn’t.’ Hear what farmers think about the messages that sell what they spend all year producing.