WB (The Savvy Shopper)

When confronted with hundreds of labels on items we purchase the wording sometimes overwhelms us. It’s enough to give an English major a neurosis.

I’ve seen labels bearing the word “homemade” for example on products as diverse and as mass produced as ice cream(s) and bread(s). Same thing applies to restaurants that advertise home cooking.

How can ice cream be homemade unless you live in an ice cream factory, same thing for bread, unless you happen to live in the bakery? In the case of a restaurant, it’s only home cooking if you live there.

Natural and organic are two other labels that drive one crazy. They’re usually applied to vegetables, and imply a certain method of cultivation (i.e., utilization of chemical fertilizers and/or pesticides or non-utilization). Anybody ever hear of an unnatural or inorganic vegetable regardless of its cultivation method?

Then there are those grocery outlets which cello wrap vegetables and stick the “fresh picked” label on them. Did the picker have a wrapping machine attached to it? How fresh are they really.

Then there’s full flavor and light cigarettes. Lighter then what? They can still kill you.

The hucksters and buzzword creators are still at it dumping their verbosity on the unsuspecting consumer. Stay aware, shop savvy, and when in doubt e-mail the Troubleshooter.

Filed by WB in Missouri, May 23, 2002