Free Writes Mitch Vollhaber

I usually do not look at food labels. I don't think I have ever looked at a food label in the store to help me decide if I want to buy an item or not. I would consider myself a pretty healthy person yet I have never compared two similar items to see which one is healthier to buy. I think the only time I find myself looking at a food label is when I'm at home and happen to look at it out of curiosity. I do believe that consumers have the right to know what is in the food that they are buying so it is important that the information is there on the box. It is good that the labels break down the amount of sugar, fat, sodium and so on but I think it would make more sense if they were recorded per ounce instead of per serving size. No one goes by the serving sizes anyways.

Reading this article changed the way I think about food labels. I think that anything used in the process of making a product should be included on a label. It would not necessarily have to be listed in the ingredients but it should be somewhere on the label so consumers really know what they are getting. Something like ammonia being used to rid beef of specific food born illnesses needs to be on the label. The ammonia is clearly still present in the final product since the pH is so much higher and there have been complaints about a strong ammonia smell coming from the final product. That sure sounds like an ingredient to me.

I think if pink slime is included in a beef product it needs to be labeled on the package. Consumers need to have a choice whether or not they want to buy beef treated with ammonia. If they want to save money and buy a cheaper meat then that is their choice. The same goes for the consumer who wants to get a high quality beef even if it costs them a little more. The only preconception I have going into this debate is that I grew up with a freezer full of venison every year so I have never had to worry about buying beef from a supermarket. The only time I eat beef is when I go out to eat. When I do, I expect a high quality beef without fillers treated with chemicals. I do not think that something like this should be a part of the school lunch program.

The exigence I am going to write about is the way energy drinks do not warn consumers about the potential health risks that are caused by drinking them. The direct causes of these health risks include over-consumption of energy drinks, a lack of research about some of the ingredients used in many energy drinks, and the lack of common knowledge related to the health risks. A economic role that plays a role in this exigence is how the companies that make energy drinks would probably sell a lot less of their product if they had to list specific risks that go along with some of the ingredients that they use or if consumers had a better idea of the risks they are taking when they drinks them. The way in which our society works is you have to go, go, go all day long so people look to energy drinks and energy shots to get through the day even if the drinks are potentially harmful which indirectly supports the exigence.

My solution to the energy drink crisis is to pass a law that will require energy drink manufactures to place warning labels on each can that will warn consumers about the potential side effects that have severe effects on some individuals heart. Doing this will allow consumers to be more aware of the potential health risks they are taking when they consume an energy drink. An increase in consumer knowledge is the best way to lower the number of people ending up in the hospital each year after drinking energy drinks. This solution makes sense because if is a relatively cheap way to get the word out about these side effects and it is ethical because consumers have the right to know the risks when they put something in their body.
Some believe it is a matter of moderation. They believe it is the people who drink several energy drinks at once are the ones ending up in the hospital, which is partly true but it is also people that have unknown heart problems that end up suffering from the side effects after one can. This is the best solution because it educates all consumers.

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