, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recently attempted to create a food labeling system that would benefit consumers rather than food companies.
In developing the system, which he proposes to replace current nutrition labels on packaged foods, Bittman turned to St. Paul-based design firm Werner Design Werks
. The firm helped him create a label that "can tell a story about the three key elements of any packaged food and can provide an overall traffic-light-style recommendation or warning."
Werner Design Werks' clear and straightforward label would be a large improvement over existing labeling, Bittman believes. He notes that such a shift would help to counter obesity, a problem that "all but the most cynical agree is closely related to consumption of junk food."