All those food labels

We’re lucky that our food has been labeled for many nutritional facts for decades. (Of course, it took a big battle to get a law in place to require labeling). I’m old enough to remember when you had no idea what was inside that soup can or cereal box.

For the last 15 years, the labeling fight has moved to other health issues such as salt, sugar, and additives. Even more recently, justice for humans, animals, and ecosystems has taken front page, so we can put our dollars where our morals are.

Well, that’s the hope, anyway. Unfortunately, manufacturers try to dilute this movement by using meaningless words like “natural” or giving false reassurance with phrases like “cage free.” As a result, some labels are truer and more meaningful than others. Earthwatch Institute put up a wonderful page not long ago with detailed assessment of 27 labels.

Here are some of the labels they consider reliable:

Bird-Friendly

Certified Humane Raised and Handled

USDA Certified Organic

Country of Origin

Dolphin-Safe from Earth Island Institute

Fair Trade Certified

Marine Stewardship Council

Rainforest Alliance Certified

Salmon Safe

And here are some that are questionable or frankly misleading:

Cage Free

Grass Fed

Hormone Free

Natural  or  All Natural

Pasture Raised

I encourage you to visit the Earthwatch page to get the details! That way, we can all support the genuine earth-friendly food producers and avoid the fakers.

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