Foreign-Language Food Labels, Confusing Family Ties, an Ode to Grouchy Models

(By Danny Hellman)
By Joe Heim, Justin Rude and Dan Zak
Sunday, October 26, 2008

Dear Wise Guys:

When I go to the (regular) grocery store I see lots of foods with just Spanish labeling (or in another foreign language). It looks interesting, and I might want to buy it, but I can't tell what in the hell it is. Or if I am going to break out in hives or put on 10 pounds from it. Or how long before it expires. Is that legal? Shouldn't all food labels be in English as well?


Jose: Una pregunta muy interesante, Donna. Me puse en contacto con la Administracion de Comidas y Drogas [or: la FDA] y me dijeron.

Justin: I think it's probably better if you answer this in English.

Joe: Oh, right. Okay, well, we checked with the Food and Drug Administration, and spokesman Michael Herndon e-mailed this response: "All food sold in the U.S. has to be labeled in English (only food sold in Puerto Rico may be in Spanish only). Manufacturers can use a foreign language on the label, but all mandatory language must be in that language and English." So check to see if there isn't English as well as Spanish on the label. If not, you can notify the FDA.

Justin: Or Homeland Security.

Dan: Or the Minutemen.

Jose: Minutohombres.

Dear Wise Guys:

I often hear people refer to someone as their cousin twice removed or third aunt, and I was wondering what does that mean? How can someone be removed? Or a second or third?


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