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Posted on May 26, 2008 in admin, Review | 6 comments

Site: Review policy & links

For easier site navigation, I put together an ordered list of lunch gear, packaged foods, books and stores that I’ve reviewed on Lunch in a Box so far, augmenting the Top Tips page. I think I was able to find most of my past mini-reviews, but feel free to let me know if I’ve missed something.

I also came across this thread on eGullet today about food blogging ethics, which got me thinking about how I approach product reviews. I generally toss mini reviews into a larger lunch post, covering things that I’ve bought with my own money. But as the blog grows I’ve started to be approached by companies to review different books and products. Many are not all that relevant and are therefore easy to turn down, but there have been a few on target enough to get me thinking that it’s time to establish a proper product review policy for the site. My journalist husband helped me draft a policy to avoid conflicts of interest; I’m hoping this’ll head off any misunderstandings.

Enjoy the Reviews page; I hope it helps you find what you’re looking for. I’ve also created a new Review category which I’ll be using to tag posts containing reviews of food, gear, books or stores.

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  1. wow that is a most comprehensive list as to what is of your own. I can’t help but feel a little bit miffed of sorts that you do have state that if your item is reviewed it does not guarantee a favourable one. I’ve run into this issue before, regarding transparency.
    Some bloggers are purists. Receive anything and you are no longer credible.
    I take the approach as long as it is listed that it is a review it is fine with me. And I doubt it will be an issue with this blog.

  2. Just want to say that I really appreciate that when you review you point out both good and bad sides of the products. :)

  3. @1 from Jessika: Yes, one extreme would be to accept nothing and buy all items with my own money 100% of the time. The other extreme would be to offer my opinion and blog up for sale to commercial bidders (a la Pay Per Post), essentially pimping myself out. On this continuum I’m just to the right of the first option, as there are some products I’m curious about from a bento standpoint but probably wouldn’t shell out for myself because I’m so cheap. Setting out a clear reviews policy keeps everything transparent, as you say, and helps set expectations for companies. Also keeps me feeling neutral and non-indebted, so I can continue to write my honest opinion no matter where I get a product from.

  4. @2 from Giffy: Thanks, Giffy. That’s the tone I’ll continue to aim for (pointing out both good and bad).

  5. I understand the necessity of giving away (or sending back) expensive products that companies send you to review… but it’s too bad you don’t get to keep the stuff after you put the work into reviewing it! :)

  6. @5 from Anastasia: I’m very okay with sending back or giving away any expensive (freebie) product that I review. If it’s good enough for me to want to keep it, I can buy it with the money that the site ads and affiliate links provide. Hey, it might mean more cool reader giveaways like I did with the Face Food book — you never know!