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Understanding Our Food

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Understanding Our Food Communications Tool Kit

For Professionals (Are you a consumer?)

The International Food Information Council Foundation's Understanding Our Food Communications Tool Kit provides food and agriculture, nutrition and health, and other professionals and communicators with information and tools to communicate the facts about modern food production, food processing and processed foods, and to guide consumers and clients to make the best food choices for their overall health and lifestyles.  

In recent years, “processed foods” have been the subject of growing negative perceptions in terms of their nutritional value and impact on health, as well as their safety. However, there are many safe, high-quality, and nutritious processed foods, and in many cases, processing can help make our food safer and more nutritious.

As a communicator, you can help share the facts and clear up misinformation about modern food production, food processing, and processed foods by using these resources with consumers and clients to: 1) define processed foods, 2) describe the scope of foods and products they include, 3) provide information about the many benefits of food processing that are often overlooked.

Tool Kit Components
The Understanding Our Food Communications Tool Kit includes a 12-page Leader Guide and five informational handouts.

The Leader Guide (PDF) includes information on:

  • Widely accepted definitions of processed foods
  • A look at the broad range of processed foods available today
  • How farmers, manufacturers and the modern food system help feed the world
  • The benefits brought to us by modern large-scale food production systems
  • The five informational handouts and tips for using them to communicate to consumers and other audiences about modern food production and processing
  • Additional resources for more information


The five informational handouts include:  

What is a Processed Food? You Might be Surprised! (PDF)

From the Farm to Your Fork—What the Food System Brings to Your Plate (PDF)

Your Food … Your Choice (PDF)

Foods to Fit Your Busy Lifestyle (PDF)

Adding Variety to Your Table Throughout the Seasons (PDF)

Download the full Leader's Guide and Handouts (PDF).

Additional Resources
Additional resources on modern food production, as well as relevant materials on food safety, technology and nutrition, are also available on our website.  

In addition, a new scientific review, “Feeding the World Today and Tomorrow: The Importance of Food Science and Technology” which provides the history and contributions of modern food production, processing and technology, was published in September 2010 in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. The review offers a comprehensive and detailed reference of the science on this topic.

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IFIC Foundation Taste Test Challenge

To celebrate National Nutrition Month and the theme, "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right," the IFIC Foundation filmed our very own taste test challenge. Take a look, think you would have passed?