- a blog about food and value

Pricewatch: Misleading food labels

Irish TimesIn today’s Pricewatch, Paul Cullen explores the topic of misleading food labels. It’s a really useful, comprehensive article for anyone who’s ever picked up a shopping basket, with information on everything from environmental claims to the difficulty of tracing the origin of chicken and the use of meaningless terms such as “traditional” or “country-style.”

There’s plenty worth reading here, but I’ll just highlight one rather astonishing relevation that Cullen brings to light:

In breads, wholegrain is another largely meaningless term. Many products market themselves by describing how they are made with whole grains, and use dark brown colours or deceptive names to show the product is associated with the health benefits of whole grains.

Sadly, many of these items have ordinary refined wheat flour as their main ingredient. One Irish survey found over half the wholegrain breads examined contained more white flour than wholemeal flour.

If you are looking for a healthier option when shopping for bread, look for wholemeal products, which must contain wholemeal flour.

So there you have it. You can read the full article here.

Readers, what annoys you about misleading food lables?


  1. It bothers me when packaging says that the product is all natural. This leads consumers to believe it is organic, but in reality all natural only means that the producer hasn’t added any additional preservatives or additives to the final product while any or all of the ingredients that were used in the final product could have been made with preservatives and additives.
    Just a minor pet peeve 🙂

    Great post!

  2. I can’t bear egg cartons that use the word “FREE” in the name to give the impression that they are free-range. Someone glancing casually at the carton will think the eggs are free-range when really, they are not! One culprit: Ballyfree eggs. What DOUBLY annoys me about Ballyfree eggs is that they sell free-range and non-free-range eggs side by side. So some hens are allowed roam free and others are kept in cages? is it credible then to think that the ones I’m eating are from the free hens?

  3. I cant bear lazy consumers. Read the ingredients to get the real picture instead of trusting the manufacturer to not lie to you.