Many packaged foods and meals are similar to ones you might make at home. So why do ingredient lists for simple meals seem so long?
USDA and FDA require ingredient statements to report ingredients down to the most basic components. For example, this packaged meal contains chicken, red quinoa, butter and guajillo sauce and each of these foods are made from multiple ingredients. If grains in meals are enriched to add back vitamins and minerals, these components are listed as well. For prepared foods that can stay fresh on the shelf or in a refrigerator or freezer, sometimes additional ingredients are used for color, flavor, texture, or freshness. Unfamiliar with some of the listed ingredients? Check out the SmartLabel.
Learn more about the changes to the Nutrition Facts Label here.
Conagra Nutrition does not provide medical advice. Information is intended for educational purposes only. For specific nutrition guidance, please consult your regular healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.