Before I joined the Delicious Living team, I worked for several outdoor-sports magazines. Over the course of a decade, I wrote and edited hundreds of articles about equipment, apparel, and footwear — but at times, I still got intimidated walking into an outdoor-sports store. I still can't help but wonder what people who aren't as familiar with tents, backpacks, and hiking boots must think; all those bells and whistles on the latest gear aren't necessarily clearly understood or explained. It's easy to feel that if you aren't prepared to climb Mount Everest or hike the Appalachian Trail, then you don't belong.
I was reminded of this feeling while reading “Label Know-how.” Former Delicious Living editor Pamela Bond writes that she's reluctant to read nutrition labels partly because “a label can be a confusing, time-consuming read.” If she finds labels confusing, how does the average consumer feel? Although research shows that a large majority of people want to eat healthier, many people, understandably, don't know how. And can you blame them? From low sodium to no sodium, no fat to trans fats, and myriad other categories trumpeted on food packaging (not to mention claims made on supplements, body care, and cleaning products), labels may muddy the waters rather than clarify an item's health benefits.
So how do we reduce the intimidation factor and make healthy eating and natural living accessible and understandable? Here's a start: Tell us what you need from us at Delicious Living. Then, share your knowledge with others. Pass along this issue to friends and family, and offer them your favorite healthy recipes and eating tips. Ask friends what questions they have about eco-issues, organics, parenting, and more, and post those on our online forums. Communication is a fabulous way to clear confusion. And since I happen to love both the outdoor and natural-products industries, I'd encourage you to take up the dialogue during a leisurely hike or bike ride.