Read the label when we shop

Updated: May 21

Many people spend their entire lives rushing around after other people, often forgetting how to relax or even finding time to read a label.

Read the label

A previous colleague was roughly five stone overweight. When I first started working for him, I offered to make him a cuppa, to which he replied 'black with six sugars please Ange'. I quietly giggled, I honestly thought he was joking. He was all, 'No Angela, I take six'. Anyway, I explained he should only be having 37.5 grams a day, so I gave three sugars not six and he didn't even notice. I bumped into him a year ago and he had obviously jacked in the sugar-laced drinks as he was looked absolutely brilliant. Really healthy.

The maximum amount of added sugar for a Women is 100 calories of sugar per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons) and a Men: 150 calories of sugar per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons).  While Mexico has the highest rate of obesity among OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), ranking second, the United States, which if you have ever been anywhere in the Americas you will agree, one of the first things you notice is portion control, although I call it damage control! Every time I order food in America I wish I had opted to share, as one portion is unhealthily humongous and plenty for two people. In England, obesity has risen from 15% in 1993 to 26% in 2016. You only need to look up and notice the world is hooked to a device of sorts. It is obvious when we look around and observe people hypnotised by their mobile phone. Children see this and replicate this behaviour, often spending hours of recreational time hooked to a device, instead of exercising and running around having fun. Next time you go shopping, find a couple of minutes for yourself to read the product description and or label. Here are ten shopping reminders, so next time you do a weekly shop you can lash it in the trolly quickly. 1. Trans-fat or trans fatty acids are in industrially processed foods. The product contains a hydrogen liquid vegetable oil which makes the product more solid. The primary dietary source for trans fat in processed food is “partially hydrogenated oils." 2. Fat-free obviously contains no fat, so remember to check the sugar content, it takes less than 30 seconds to glance at an ingredient label and check the ingredients. 3. Organic food and fashion are produced by methods that comply with the standards of organic farming and materials which restrict the use of pesticides and fertilisers, irradiation, solvents or synthetic food additives. You can easily recognise raw organic food as it is usually smaller and far from perfect as it has not been pumped full of additives. Organic fashion should carry an organic certificate at the moment sustainable fashion is not mass-produced and only really replaces one fabric for a less toxic option. Organic cotton for example. Organic wine is made from grapes which are grown in accordance with principles of organic farming. It excludes the use of artificial chemical fertilisers, pesticides, fungicides and herbicide. I have to be super particular when drinking red as the sulfite's effect my sinuses if you are the same look for the sulfite-free section. Organic clothing is made from materials raised in or grown in compliance with organic agricultural standards. Organic clothing at the moment is composed of cotton, jute, silk, ramie and wool. Sustainable fashion is currently a work-in-progress as most textiles have a six-stage manufacturing process which is mechanically carbon-intensive with a number of complex challenges. 4. Biological is the biological environment in which a product is grown and produced. The physical environment includes light and heat or solar radiation, moisture, wind, oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients in the soil, water and atmosphere. If a product is branded BIO or Biological it has been grown and produced naturally without the aid of pesticides. 5. Ecological (Ecology, or ecological science) is the branch of biology that studies the relationship of plants and animals to their physical and biological environment. If a product is branded with the words ECO or Ecological it has been grown without the aid of pesticides. 6. Bio-degradable, not to be confused with Biological, is the breakdown of organic matter by microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi. 7. Cruelty-free products are identified with a small rabbit or a bunny head on the product. It basically means its part of an animal rights movement and no animals were harmed to make this product. We do not test on animals in the UK, so if you are ever unsure, simply glance at where it was made, if it says the UK it will be cruelty-free. 8. Fair-trade products usually say Fair-trade organisation underneath the icon, which is a farmer in a green field. The Foundation was set up in 1992 and is the UK member of Fair-trade International. Fairtrade is a product certification scheme that promotes better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries.

9. Two arrow sign - The photograph below is a good example of items 9 and 10. The double arrow sign means the brand has paid into the recycling scheme. It does not mean the product is a recycled container.

10. Vegan products have the word 'Vegan' or a green 'V' on the product, which simply means the product has no byproducts or animal ingredients in it.


Next time we do our weekly shop find time to read the label and have a happy healthy weekend.

Outside A Circus

Outside a Circus is an eccentric hat shop inspired by plants and nature, Shopping tours in Barcelona and a green fashion, shopping and interiors blog.

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