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One Grocer Takes Truth in Food Labeling To a Higher Level

Ever wonder if the health-harming truth about processed foods would ever catch up with manufacturers? In some small ways, a New England grocery store chain is doing its part to expose them, according to this interesting New York Times piece.

The Hannaford Brothers chain of more than 150 grocery stores has developed the Guiding Stars system that rates the nutritional value of almost all the foods and drinks it sells from no stars to three stars any shopper can see on the shelf.

Here's the interesting number: Out of some 27,000 products Hannaford sells, 77 percent of the foods received no stars. A lot of those "no stars" foods were ones that are erroneously advertised by producers as healthy, like frozen dinners. And, companies like Campbell's Soup, makers of the Healthy Request line of soups (mostly no stars), aren't happy at all about it.

The major discrepancies between what the FDA and the Hannaford system say are healthy foods makes sense. Company nutritionists admit the Guiding Stars system is much more stringent than federal standards. That said, there's great room for improvement, considering among the two-star foods are pastas, not at all good for your health, especially if you want to avoid diabetes.

Dr. Colleen Huber suggests an even better way to shop at the grocery store in her popular piece about the affordability of organic foods.

New York Times November 6, 2006 Registration Required

The (Lakeland, Fla.) Ledger November 6, 2006