Review the following Module 5 materials:
- Food Marketing and Labeling
- “A blizzard of “sustainability” labels”
- Sustainability labels on food products: Consumer motivation, understanding and use
- Explore Ecolabel Index (Links to an external site.)
- Chapters 4 & 5 in Food, Farms, and Community
- Food & Culture: Non-Nutritional Goals Through Food
“Consumers need to know more about how their food is produced, by whom, and who benefits—without taking on a research project for every purchase.” – Food, Farms, and Community (pg. 71)
Part 1: Design
Considering all that you have learned in this module, design your own food label (or logo), noting what it is intended to be used for/on. Note: This is not a nutrition label.
- Select a specific food, e.g., pineapple; or category of food, e.g., beef; or aspect of food systems, e.g., farms workers, etc.
- Scan or take a CLEAR photo of your food label (or logo) and submit to Canvas.
Part 2: Discussion
Answer the following in well-written paragraphs:
- Explain the rationale behind your design.
- Why did you draw/design it like you did? Is it “self-explanatory” to consumers (i.e., easily understandable), etc.?
- Who/m is your “consumer?” Who/m are you trying to reach, and why them?
- What are the “values” and “non-nutritional goals” of your food label? What are you achieving or desiring to achieve with this label?
- Look at this Behind the USDA Organic Seal Graphic. For your food label: What is behind it? What is it? What is it not? What are the limitations, the gaps, the blind spots?
- For example, perhaps your label focuses on farm workers welfare such as fair treatment, pay/wages, housing, etc. It may not speak to anything about the environmental practices on the farm, e.g., soil health, pesticide use, animal welfare, etc.
- Be specific about your criteria! Make it meaningful.
- As a consumer, what do you look for or want to know when you research labels? Vague phrases such as “fair” can be off-putting and reminiscent of green-washing. After all, what is “fair?” Be clear and definitive.
- Identify labels that are similar to yours (i.e., what is already out there).
- How, or in what ways, is your food label different? Why is this an important distinction (i.e., what is your label addressing that has been missing, or overlooked, etc.)?
- Lastly, consider ‘verification.’
- Who/m is verifying your label, and why them? How are they going to verify or substantiate the truth of your label?
Take this as an opportunity to apply what you’ve learned to a real-world-type scenario. The expectation is that your food label and accompanying discussion will be substantive & reflective of the themes and concepts we have covered so far in class.