Food Labels: Calories VS Energy

 I recently traveled abroad to Europe. And as with all of my travels, the culinary and food world influenced my itinerary. Discovering the traditions and palate of the region is always one of the highlights of my explorations. But while I was traveling this time, I couldn’t help but take a look at their version of the food label. In case you haven’t noticed, their food labels don’t contain the word “calories.” Instead, they use the word “energy.” Every time I see that it brings a smile to face.

In my opinion, the word calorie seems to possess a laundry list of negative associations.

  • Count your calories
  • Cut your calories
  • Burn your calories
  • Choose your calories wisely

To me, it’s a really good example of how American culture has turned the joy of eating into something that feels wrong, undeserving of pleasure, and requiring repentance. To me, the word “energy” conveys a much more positive message; fuel to keep you energized! So the next time you find yourself glancing at a food label, try swapping the word “calorie” for “energy.” And you can try asking yourself the following questions:

  • How much energy do I need right now?
  • Will this be enough energy to carry me?
  • Will this type of energy leave me feeling energized and satisfied?

So, if you had the chance to change the word calorie to something else, what word would you choose?