It’s difficult for consumers to make decisions about food, especially when they get input from so many different sources. Sometimes they’re led to believe they have to buy foods with labels like organic, natural, pasture-raised, antibiotic-free (which all meat is already). Sometimes they’re led to feel guilty for not buying products with those marketing labels.

A new book may help grocery shoppers save time and take home less guilt if they spend a few hours to learn the truth about their food.

On average, Americans annually spend more than $7,000 for food, and nearly a week shopping for it. So understanding food choices is key, according to Michele Payn, author of a newly-released aisle-by-aisle grocery guidebook. Her aim is to offer an informed voice of reason within an overly sensationalized food and health arena, to help consumers feel better about the food they buy and eat, according to a news release about her book.

Payn’s “Food Truths from Farm to Table – 25 Surprising Ways to Shop & Eat Without Guilt” (ISBN 978-1-4408-4997-8, hardcover), is a No. 1 new release on Amazon (www.amazon.com/Food-Truths-Farm-Table-Surprising/dp/1440849978). It outlines “25 food truths” -- providing a transparent window into modern farming and ranching practices. Each chapter includes a story about food producers and answers questions around major food issues such as organics, animal welfare and sustainability. Fifty-five food, agriculture and health experts contributed to the book, which references 119 research studies.

“Understanding the ‘real story’ about food is a critical issue for every health professional, parent, chef, and essentially anyone buying food,” said Marianne Edge Smith, MS, RD, LD, FADA, FAND, Past President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, who reviewed the book. She said consumers will find answers to their most challenging questions around nutrition and health in Payn’s book.

“Smart grocery shopping and healthy eating shouldn’t require a science degree,” added reviewer Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, and former NBC News TODAY Show Food Trends Editor. “If you are looking to shop and eat with less guilt, read this book. Michele’s 25 food truths will give you the freedom to enjoy your food again.”

Payn also wrote “No More Food Fights! Growing a Productive Farm & Food Conversation.”