04/09/2014 09:26 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2014

Food Labels Have Gotten Out Of Control, And Now Shopping Is A Stressor


There's nothing more exhausting than going to the grocery store. And we're saying this as people who used to love buying groceries. All the cooking possibilities the grocery store offered made us feel giddy. But now, it just makes us dizzy. Sometimes we just want to lie down in the middle of the aisle and give up.

It's not the lines -- we can deal with that. It's not even the aggressive shoppers -- we know how to fight back. It's the tiresome amount of food labels that are covering our food packages. Gluten free, low calorie, reduced calorie, low fat, less fat, no fat, free range, cage free, grass fed, all natural... the list goes on and on.

We are more than thankful that there are food products available to fit everyone's needs. Those with allergies, health problems and specialty diets should not have to go without their favorite foods. BUT, we're just not even sure what we're buying anymore because the labels have taken over EVERYTHING. Cereal is no longer just cereal, but a prescription for our heart, body and soul.

We miss the days when we could pick up a loaf of pillowy soft and ultra white sandwich bread for grilled cheese. Now we have to choose between the bread with extra fiber or the one that's heart healthy. Do you pick whole grain or multigrain? And is all natural better for the environment or do we need to look for one that's been processed in a nut-free plant where unicorns give their final seal of approval before bagging? We just want a sandwich, people, but these labels are making it so hard. See for yourself.

  • 1 Should you get fat-free, no-fat, low-fat...
    All sugar.
  • 2 or are trans fats the ones we don't want?
  • 3 Whole grain...
  • 4 multigrain...
    Western Family
  • 5 with or without gluten?
    De Boles
  • 6 But, wait. ANCIENT GRAINS.
    That must be the ticket.
  • 7 Excellent source of fiber...
  • 8 or is just a 'good source of fiber' sufficient?
  • 9 Made with "real" cheese.
    Sadly, this label is necessary.
  • 10 Lactose AND/OR dairy free...
  • 11 as well as cholesterol free.
    Almond Breeze
    Plus soy free to boot.
  • 12 Cage free vs. free range
    Land O Lakes
    It probably doesn't even make a difference.
  • 13 But they should definitely have Omega-3.
    Nellie's Eggs
    Right? More Omega must be better.
  • 14 And then you have to choose between low sodium...
  • 15 25 percent less sodium...
  • 16 and "for sodium restricted diets."
    So many questions.
  • 17 USDA Organic
    Cascadian Farms
  • 18 But most of all, they should promote healthy blood pressure and support healthy arteries.
    Plus, offer more for your heart. Because above all else, our processed foods should perform medical miracles.
  • 19 All Natural
    Always and forever. (Even though, we all know deep down inside that this means absolutely nothing, because this can didn't sprout from the garden.)
  • 20 And let's not forget... Nut free, pesticide free, hormone free, grass fed, fair trade, low cal, no cal, low sugar, lightly sweetened, sugar free, vitamin fortified, more calcium, support brain health, bone health and non-GMO.
    Equal Exchange

Want to read more from HuffPost Taste? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr.


Food Label Lingo
Subscribe to the Lifestyle email.
Life hacks and juicy stories to get you through the week.