Healthy food goes beyond the label. Marian Burros, retired New York Times food columnist spoke on 24th of April at a symposium honoring N.Y.U. food researcher Marion Nestle called Marion Nestle and the State of Food: Policy, Media, Education and More. Burros explains that what is changing in people’s eating and shopping habits nowadays is what can dictate improvements in how food is grown and manufactured for consumption. Consumers are expecting “fresh food”. “clean food”, she says. Although a lot of people do not seem to fully understand what those expressions mean. Consumers should not expect anything beyond warnings from their governments about the health risk of certain food products. Burros refers to a recent E. coli outbreak that has so far hospitalized 50 people in the USA. “The federal government says that they’re not going to do any more than tell everybody that this is a problem, and not to eat it. They’re not going to look any further into it.”, says Burros on the podcast released by Scientific American on 30/04/2018. Therefore, we as consumers have to do our own investigation when reading a product’s label, even if it takes longer to do your grocery shopping than usual. It’s a time well-spent in order to protect yourself and your family against companies that say, for example, their products are GMO-free. “A lot of people are now labeling with GMOs. I don’t worry about GMOs as much as I worry about the pesticides that are put on GMOs.” says Marian Burros. Although it’s more time-consuming, it is better to look carefully at what you’re buying; examine a nutrition facts label and figure out what the columns and numbers really mean. Read beyond the label. Related article: Food Sleuthing: Find the missing ingredient.