Kashi offers a downloadable ingredient decoder on PDF form on their website that you can print out and take to the grocery store with you to help decipher those strange ingredients on any food label. Using a thumbs-up or thumbs -down system, the decoder helps you to easily identify ingredients that you want to consider avoiding. In addition to the thumbs, each ingredient has information on what it is derived from and why it's desirable or not.

From ACESFULFAME-K (thumbs down) to ZINC OXIDE (thumbs up), this alphabetical list will come in handy when you're looking at a product that claims to be healthy, all-natural, or made with natural ingredients yet has a science text book list of ingredients.

Edited on 2/4/09 for additional information

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.