The food products are so numerous that it would take an infinite amount of time to decode the packaging in order to understand its composition. Then, according to statistics, it takes no more than 30 seconds to choose a product! No wonder then that we let ourselves be deceived: reading the list of ingredients on the packaging makes us more responsible and allows us to be better informed about the product and its effects on our health...

blog etiquette food 2We can assume that everything that is subject to free sale is not only authorised, but also edible. But edible does not mean that it is also "good for the health", and it is typical of the packaging, putting in the foreground all the merits of the products, and specifying instead, in small letters, the contraindications. As a real guide to buying what it is, a food label contains essential information, since a decree of 1984 allows you to answer the basic questions: the composition of the food and its expiry date.

The problem, however, is that if there are many of us who know how to read on the Internet, we are no longer able to "read" a food package. Or, at least, our eyes are attracted by the "flashy" packaging, by the headlines, and not by the information printed on the back of the package, and which are written so small, that first we have to go and look for the glasses, and then take 10 minutes to read them!

The regulations

By law, the label must include several mandatory mentions on the description of the food. The producer ESTERNAmust ensure that they are indicated on the label:

- The percentage of ingredients, but reported in the foreground in the designation, in descending order of weight (from reading the label of a self-styled yoghurt on which we read the words "rich in fruit", we learn that it actually contains only 5.7% of concentrated fruit puree!).

- The additives and their function, and whether they are natural or artificial.

- The main allergenic ingredients (gluten, shellfish, soya, etc.).

- The name and address of a responsible person (for complaints).

- The date of manufacture and the date of minimum durability or, in the case of highly perishable foodstuffs, the final date of consumption and particulars for storage.

Misleading labels

Animal fat, sugar: some ingredients do not sell much, while others (fruit, vegetables) ensure the sale. Thus, the producers, in order to make a product look less Sans titresugary, divide the words "sugar" on the one hand, and "glucose syrup" on the other. And to make a child's biscuit appear "richer in fruit", they fill it with the words "fruit preparation", even if the presence of fruit is minimal... All the tricks are good! One thing is certain: the "captivating" food product tries to put in the foreground all the qualities of the product itself, and to hide its defects.

Deceptive labels: how to defend oneself

The choice of a box of lentils or a pack of appetizers for the aperitif, requires a lot of knowledge, reading, writing, biochemistry, nutrition. And then marketing, economics and the legal aspects of competition and consumption... So don't trust the images of the packaging and advertising claims. Check the quantity of the main ingredient, which makes you want to buy the product. Read between the lines and go and study a little more carefully the labels of products that scream "5 fruits and vegetables a day" or "reduced content of ...".

etichettta indicazione origineGood news

Yes, you can make compotes without coloring, biscuits really pure butter, pure fruit juices without adding anything, because in this case, we speak of "fruit juice"...

Learn more  (Consumer Safety Commission)

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Catherine - Lifestyle

Bonjour, my name is Catherine. I live in the heart of Paris. I’ve always loved to travel and, over the years, I developed it into a real art: the right addresses, the suitcase, how to manage fatigue with my Parisian look! From Cannes to Antigua, from the red carpet to Pilates, I have to live up to the reputation. I have small apartments in Paris that I rent out. I love to personally welcome my guests and give them some recommendations about life in Paris “living like a true Parisian and not like a simple tourist in an elegant private suit in the heart of the city”.

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Edizione Italiana

Edita da RIZZOLI, Sophie la Parigina è una guida di stile moderna su PARIGI. Illustrata dai disegni di Alessandra Ceriani, completata da un elenco degli indirizzi preferiti dalla parigina e arricchita di ricette gastronomiche.


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Published by RIZZOLI New York, Sophie the Parisian'sis a modern life style guide about PARIS. Illustrated with color drawings, complemented by a list of Parisians' favorite locations and enriched with gastronomic recipes.

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